X-COM 2: Terror From The Deep
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"Strategy Guide and FAQ" Guide for X-COM 2: Terror From The Deep
XCOM2: Terror from the Deep The UN-official Strategy Guide and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Updated September 25, 1995 Edited / Maintained by Kuo-Sheng (Kasey) Chang 0. READ ME FIRST 0.1 Introduction Thanks for the tremendous response for XCOM:USG and XCOM2:USG! I've received feedback all over the world and I thank you all. This is the fourth revision of the XCOM2:USG. Undoubtably lots of things are missing despite plenty of feedback since the first version, but with your help details will be filled... This latest revision has more information than ever! Updated information such as new XCOM Webpages have been added, slightly expanded section on movement, and various other small enhancements... This is probably one of the longest FAQs out there! (With exception of the Official DOOM FAQ, of course...) I am still taking your suggestions for XCOM3, though I felt obligated to mention that MicroProse is ALWAYS taking your suggestions as well. Send your suggestions to "email@example.com", with "XCOM3 Suggestions" as the topic. Any way, I still have indirect contact with Mr.Gollop and I can pass on your suggestions. I already have most of the common ones like robot/cyborg units, construction kits for weapons and tanks, reorder troops, fix the 80-item limit, etc. etc. Think of some UNIQUE ones and send them! 0.2 Purpose of this guide USG was written to help fellow players survive and succeed in the universe of XCOM/XCOM2. While it tries to do that, and it lists many tactics, only YOU, the player, can implement those tactics. XCOM2 is NOT an adventure or RPG game. There are no "keys" for you to "solve" the game. One given tactic could work for several missions but fail to gain you a victory the next time. EVERY mission is a little different, and different things CAN and WILL happen each time you play it. The tactics, strategies, and analyses in USG are compiled from a wide variety of sources, and most have been tested by dozens of people (if not hundreds and thousands). If they fail, it is probably because the tactic does not apply to your particular situation. Do NOT assume that you can beat the game just by going through every page of this guide. It is NOT that simple. All I can do with this guide is offer you some suggestions. Implementation is up to you. This guide assumes that you are already familiar with the interface (which button to click to go upstairs on a lift, etc). If you are not yet familiar with XCOM2, please read the manual first. 0.3 Credits where credits are due Thanks to MicroProse and Mythos Games for bringing us such a nice game... I can't wait to see XCOM3! (Will the graphics be as good as that new game from Origin?) Thanks to all the people who have contributed to the previous edition of XCOM2:USG. Donny Chan, LT; Robert Bellflower, Xenologist; "FractalLaw", Researcher, and many many others. Thanks to all the people who have contributed to previous editions of the XCOM:USG, whom include but are not limited to: William Kang, CMDR; Tim Chown, CMDR; Doug Osborne, SGT; Stuart Lamble, SGT; Seth Cohn, SGT; Bill Soo, SGT; Jeff Shaffer, Economist; Rob Eiben, SGT; Jim Muchow, SGT; Menachem Pasteich, architect; Paul Close, publicist and simulation expert; JGrif36366, Researcher, and fellow XCOM players all over the world discussing the game on USENET, America On-line and elsewhere. Lots of thanks goes to Jeff James (CGW columnist), who shared his knowledge of the game (and the chapter scheme!) with me and provided a lot of exclusive information (non-MicroProse), including the Julian Gollop interview. We honor you as XCOM Admiral. :-) 0.4 Notes on the USG XCOM: UFO Defense and XCOM: Terror From the Deep are trademarks of MicroProse software. This document's organization is mostly based on Jeff James's book, _Totally Unauthorized XCOM:Terror From the Deep_, and is used with permission. This document is produced by "Print to File" from MSWord, based on a Generic printer of 60 lines per page and 1 inch margin all around, fixed pitch courier 10 font. If you loaded this into Windows or Mac, try using Courier or other fixed-pitch font as the viewing font. This document is available FREE of charge. You are under NO obligation to send me ANY compensation. However, I request a small donation of US$5.00 if you believe this USG has helped your game. If you don't think so, that's okay too. As I said, it's voluntary. Non-US readers can send some nice local stamps instead. All readers, PLEASE let me know if there's a confusing or missing remark... If you find an question about the game that is not covered in the USG, e-mail it to me. I'll try to answer it and include it in the next update. PLEASE do NOT send me disks or requests for utilities mentioned mail to you. All I CAN do is point you in the right direction (WWW pages, FTP sites, etc.), and they are listed IN section 1. I have a VERY long commute and I REALLY DO NOT HAVE TIME mailing disks (even when you offer to compensate me for the disks...) Depending on availability and time available, I MIGHT e-mail files, so include your e-mail address! Regretably, some of you found that that I do not reply to regular mail very well. I do respond to e-mail promptly though! So if you do contact me via regular mail, include your e-mail address as well! 0.5 USG Distribution The USG should be available at the Game Domain WWW WWW : http://wcl-rs.bham.ac.uk/GamesDomain FTP : ftp://wcl-l.bham.ac.uk/pub/~djh/faqs Any quick updates for the USG can be found on my own homepage http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~kschang Also check the various XCOM/TFTD web pages listed in Section 1. If you are on America On-Line, look in the PC Games Forum (keyword: PCGAMES). Go into the file library, and search under XCOM or XCOM2. If there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can get this file (how did you know about this in the first place? ) then send me e-mail (see below) and I'll try to get back to you. Please don't just mail me and ask "it's nice and do you have an update and if so please send it to me". If I have an update I can release I would have released it already. 0.6 The Editor I am just a gamer who didn't like the existing FAQ's and strategy tactics collection available out there, and decided to write my own. Lots of people like what I did, so I kept doing it. I also wrote XCOM:USG and Wing Commander 3:USG, with Mechwarrior 2:USG coming soon! You can contact me at: Internet1 firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) WWW Homepage http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~kschang Internet2 email@example.com (only if you must, see below) America On-Line Ksc1 (that's a "one", not "ell") US Mail Kasey Chang, 2220 Turk Blvd. Apt. 6 San Francisco, CA 94118, USA If you contact me via Internet e-mail I usually reply within two working days. Please use the preferred e-mail address if possible, not BOTH. I only sign onto America On-Line (second address) twice a week so you won't get a prompt reply if you contact me there. 0.7 Revision history April 15th, 1995 -- Initial release, quick patch together job from XCOM USG, missing lots of stuff June 1st, 1995 -- Major revision, new chapter scheme and all that... LOTS of details filled August 17, 1995 -- "Minor" revision, though substantial! Lots of rewriting, more filling in the details, and other stuff. September 5th, 1995 -- "Minor" revision, added section on formations and sweep tactics, plus misc fix-ups. Table of Contents 0. READ ME FIRST 0.1 Introduction 0.2 Purpose of this guide 0.3 Credits where credits are due 0.4 Notes on the USG 0.5 USG Distribution 0.6 The Editor 0.7 Revision history 1. WHAT IS XCOM AND OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION 1.1 So what is XCOM2: Terror From the Deep? 1.2 What do I need to run XCOM2:TFTD? 1.3 What's the difference between XCOM1 and XCOM2? 1.4 Gameplay bugs/gripes 1.5 Future of XCOM, and related things 1.6 Where can I find XCOM related stuff? 1.7 XCOM General Information FAQ 2. GEOSCAPE AND BASES 2.1 How is scoring calculated? 2.2 How do I win? How do I lose? 2.3 Bases 2.4 Finding Alien Colonies 2.5 Target Selection 2.6 GeoScape Tricks and Tips 2.7 GeoScape FAQ 3. INTERCEPTING USOS 3.1 XCOM Crafts 3.2 Target Selection for USOs in transit 3.3 USO Attack methods 3.4 Multiple interceptors 3.5 Craft Weapons 3.6 Craft Weapon Notes 3.7 Special Craft Tactics 3.8 Interception FAQ 4. FINANCE 4.1 What really eats up money at XCOM? 4.2 How do I earn more money? 4.3 How do I cut expenses? 4.4 What do I manufacture to make more money? 4.5 The "Transfer Salary Savings" cheat 4.6 Aliens signed pact with XXX! 4.7 XCOM Finance FAQ 5. RESEARCH/INTERROGATION AND MANUFACTURING 5.1 What should I start researching first? 5.2 Overall strategy 5.3 Duplicate Research -- NOT! 5.4 Research Tree [probably incomplete] 5.5 Any hints on manufacturing? 5.6 Research and Manufacturing FAQ 5.7 Stuff that can be bought, hire, or leased 5.8 Stuff that must be researched and manufactured 6. THE ALIENS 6.1 Average Alien Stats on veteran (normal) level 6.2 Alien attack/defense summary 6.3 Alien Missions 6.4 Battle Notes on individual aliens 6.5 USO speed, range, etc. 7. SOLDIERS AND NON-COMBAT EQUIPMENT 7.1 Recruiting Aquanauts 7.2 How do I improve soldiers? 7.3 Soldier Specialties / Change soldier names 7.4 Missing in Action 7.5 Packing Advice 7.6 Basic Loadout for Transports 7.7 Equipment list 7.8 Other Action TU cost cross-reference 7.9 Equipment FAQ 8. GROUND WEAPONS, ARMOR, AND SWS 8.1 Armor 8.2 Firing mode selection 8.3 Pistol vs Rifle debate 8.4 XCOM Ground Weapons 8.5 Specific Weapon Notes 8.6 SWS Types 8.7 Molecular Control Combat 8.8 Weapons FAQ 9. BATTLESCAPE 9.1 General Combat Notes 9.2 Locating Aliens 9.3 Capturing Aliens 9.4 General Combat Tactics 9.5 Movement 9.6 Movement FAQ 9.7 Time Unit management 9.8 Retreat (Tactical withdrawal) 9.9 Alien Movement 10. SPECIFIC MISSION TACTICS 10.1 USO Recoveries and Assaults 10.2 Colony assaults 10.3 Artifact site assault 10.4 Anti-Terror Mission in general 10.5 XCOM Base Defense 10.6 Mastering T'leth--The Final Assault 11. MISC QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS 12. APPENDIX A: SOME TROUBLESHOOTING 13. APPENDIX C: TFTD BOOKS 1. WHAT IS XCOM AND OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION 1.1 So what is XCOM2: Terror From the Deep? 1.1.1 What is the "background" of XCOM2: TFTD? XCOM had defeated the alien invasion which threatened Earth at year 2001. The conflict was then known as "The First Alien War". In a final do-or-die attack, XCOM soldiers destroyed the alien homebase at Cydonia, Mars. But not all of it... Deep in the ruins of the Cydonia base, a tachyon beam came to life, sending out a signal... To Earth, straight into Gulf of Mexico. Deep in the oceans, machinery buried for millenia came back to life, unseen by human eyes... [cut to] It is the year 2040. New aliens in flying subs (unidentified swimming objects, or USOs) have appeared all over the world, often attacking ships and terrorizing coastal cities. Thus started "The Second Alien War", and only one force stand in their way to conquest of Earth: the XCOM Underwater Experimental Facility. You are in overall command of XCOM. You will launch and control fighter subs to attack marauding alien flying subs, send aquanauts to attack crashed or landed subs, raid alien colonies and other targets on Earth (if you can find them), keep the sponsor alliances happy and USOs out of their territories, buy the ammo and weapons you need in the war, research and build better weapons as your aquanauts bring in captured alien artifacts for analysis and eventually manufacture our own copies, pay for everything by contributions from sponsor alliances and selling stuff, and eventually figure out the alien threat's origin and end the threat once and for all. If you say "this sounds just like XCOM", you're absolutely right, but this game is quite a bit harder. 1.1.2 How does XCOM2 play? In three words, "just like XCOM". If you've never played XCOM, here's a description: The game is divided into two main segments: GeoScape and BattleScape. GeoScape is a 3-D view of the globe, rotate-able and zoom-able. This is where you control your various bases around the world (with sonars), your fighter and transport subs (carrying your aquanauts), your inventory at each base, the subs and alien bases/targets currently in sight, and so on. Once ground contact is made (transport landed next to subs, you attack alien base, aliens attack your base, etc. ), the game switches to Battlescape. Battlescape is an isometric tile-based 3-D combat with viewpoint similar to SimCity 2000 and Syndicate but lower resolution. The combat is turn-based with opportunity fire on the opponent's round (provided you have enough TimeUnits [TUs] and reaction), with plenty of different weapons and terrains. Every thing is mouse-driven so game is very easy to learn yet hard to master. 1.1.3 If I already have XCOM, should I buy this game? Yes! If you think XCOM is easy, you'll get CREAMED in this game! (At least early on). Graphics are somewhat better, though some people complained of clashing colors. There's more use of shading and lighting effects, sound is better too, with more soundcards supported. Even though the physics are goofy, it's still a great game. For differences, see [What's the difference between XCOM1 and XCOM2?]. 1.2 What do I need to run XCOM2:TFTD? 1.2.1 What type of PC do I need? You need a 386 or better, minimum of 4 MB RAM, VGA, Mouse, MS/PC-DOS 5.0 or higher. A 286 won't work since XCOM uses a 386 DOS extender. A 386SX will work though. If you have the bare minimum, 4 megs, do NOT use any SMARTDRV. In fact, boot clean (If using DOS6+, press F5 during bootup) Low memory is knwon to cause several bugs. Also, amount of lower memory IS important, since there are TWO programs involved, one needs conventional, the other uses DOS extender, so BOTH must be maximized. Despite the box says SVGA, the game uses only VGA. This is a goof-up on the part of MicroProse, and caused quite an uproar (charges of "false advertising", etc. *sigh*) It comes on four (4) 3.5" HD disks, and needs about 15MB of hard drive space to install, more if using disk compression software such as Stacker or DoubleSpace. There is a CD version takes up only about 4 megs of hard drive space, and comes with extneded animation/sound "cut scenes". 1.2.2 What's the difference between disk and CD version? CD version has a much longer animated beginning and ending. Instead of slideshows you get full animations. You need a double-speed CD-ROM drive (minimum throughput of 280K/sec) in order to see the animated beginning and ending, or you'll see the slide-show instead. See TFTD's README.TXT file for details. You CAN install the CD version onto the hard drive if you have enough space. Run the INSTALL in the \HARDDISK directory on the CD. 1.2.3 What sound cards are supported? All major soundcards including Gravis Ultrasound are supported. Gravis owners must have FULL set of patches available on HD. If you don't you WILL have sound problems. Advice from MPS: be warned that some "Soundblaster compatible" soundcards may not be really 100% compatible. 1.2.4 Any incompatibility problems? Windows: The game may run under Windows but I have no information on the PIF settings, sorry. Someone reported that default settings seem to work. Windows 95: Here's the report I got from a fellow reader. From: firstname.lastname@example.org ...You mention that you don't have any further details whether it runs under Windows 95 or not. It does run fine under Windows 95 build 490c which is a release that's later than the final beta. Just make sure that the DOS-Window you start don't notice that it is running under Windows. There is a check box under Properties for the Xcom2 shortcut. It seems that the game slows down occasionaly but that might be a problem on other computers as well, I don't know. OS/2: There appears to be a problem with the intro running under OS/2. The following is from another reader... From: Decio Trinca MC5908@MCLink.it Thanks for the answer but it seems I solved the problem ... I changed the IRQ number in the Sound Blaster Pro settings of the setup program and now it crashes only one every twenty-thirty times I run the program. To avoid crashing I soon skip the presentation with the esc key and the game never locks up: the settings I'm using are the default for a dos session I have increased only the dpmi memory and nothing more and the game has never crashed anymore during playing... I'm already Warped and TFTD runs very well crashing only rarely and to avoid this I quickly skip with the esc key the intro. I have a Sound Blaster Pro Sound Card. I've played the game for hours without crashing, in a full screen dos session with the xms and ems limits set to 0 and the dpmi limit set to 20, further more I've changed only the dos back. exec. to off, the idle sensitivity to 100, and the int during io to on. Thank again. Other DOS: No compatibility claims was made to any other versions of DOS such as DR DOS, Novell DOS 7. Other EMM managers: Some have reported problems running with ANY EMM manager such as EMM386, QEMM, 386MAX, Netroom, etc. For more info, see APPENDIX A: Some Troubleshooting. I personally have ran XCOM2 under QEMM 7.03/7.04 and 7.51/7.53 with no problems, but I have 16 megs of RAM. Your mileage may vary. 1.2.5 Where can I find a demo? There is a playable demo available on most on-line services such as America On-Line in the MicroProse forum/ SIG/ roundtable/ whatever. On AOL, try Keyword: MicroProse For Internet access, try ftp.microprose.com. The URL is: ftp://ftp.microprose.com/pub/mps-online/demos 1.2.6 What about any bugs? Any patches? TFTDV2 patch has been released by MicroProse back in June. ftp://ftp.microprose.com/pub/mps-online/new-versions/tftd* Some freeze-ups and occasional "blue text bug" has been reported, though not as pervasive as XCOM1. Some situation can be caused by "hacking" of data files, so keep a backup if you "hack" files! If you PERIODICALLY experience blue text bug, disable EMS and optimize your memory again. Also try decreasing your SMARTDRV settings. You are short on either conventional or extended memory. See [APPENDIX A: Some Troubleshooting] for more help. 1.3 What's the difference between XCOM1 and XCOM2? Quite a few... Here's a list: Most battles are underwater -- And it LOOKS underwater too! Shots trail bubbles. Aquanauts "leaks" air bubbles, etc. Unfortunately there are no fish, currents, etc. More terror sites -- you handle terror sites at ports, resort islands, cargo ships, and cruise ships. More two-stage missions -- Terror sites are now sometimes two stage missions. So are the alien colony attacks and artifact site attacks. Also, If you attack UFOs, you may discover an alien colony nearby. Also see [Gameplay bugs/gripes]. Your weapons are punier -- Your guns and rifles carry smaller magazines, and are really puny at first. Better research some better weapons fast... Some weapons also ONLY work underwater. Hand-to-hand weapons -- Vibroblade, Thermic Lance, and Heavy Thermic Lance are CONTACT weapons, very useful, require completely new tactics Zrbite is more plentiful -- It's easier to find more Zrbite in TFTD than Elerium in XCOM. Terrain has more corners and cubbyholes -- Which also makes game harder since aliens have more places to hide Aliens are smarter and tougher! -- They use grenades and disruptor torpedoes (i.e. blaster bombs) more effectively now, not to mention harder to kill Research is different -- Research tree is really weird now... Research lots of dead bodies and live aliens for advances. You also need a certain artifact to continue your research sometimes... 1.4 Gameplay bugs/gripes 1.4.1 GRIPE: It doesn't FEEL underwater Ever tried throwing ANYTHING underwater? Try tossing a grenade underwater in XCOM2. You'll be AMAZED. 1.4.2 BUG: Two-stage missions item losses In two-stage missions, all aliens stunned from the first part are counted as DEAD. Any items not carried on the soldiers are NOT available in the second part. This is a bug since 1) it was not like this in XCOM1, at Cydonia's pyramids. 2) the mission screen says that those items should be available. [Note: partial fix of this problem is in TFTDV2 patch] 1.4.3 BUG: Underwater Only weapons reaction fire on land HydroJet Cannon can only be fired underwater, but when on land, a soldier can reaction fire it... 1.4.4 BUG: Ocassional White/Blue text bug This is similar to the "Green Text Bug" in XCOM1, usually related to low-memory conditions. 1.4.5 BUG?: Losing scientists? email@example.com wrote: I have an odd observation for you on xcom2 tftd. Whenever I "mass classified add" hire scientists (i.e. 200 at a time) my lab space goes into the negatives (down to -266). Oddly enough, nothing much happens. But if I try to put more than 265 (out of 350) on a single project, the number resets to 0 and I lose those 266 scientists. Have you ever heard of this bug? Maybe the scientists got a little violent in their competition? (Survival of the fittest at it's finest!) 1.5 Future of XCOM, and related things 1.5.1 Any plans on sequels? Mission disks? XCOM3 is in the works... See CGW's exclusive interview with Julian Gollop, head of Mythos games, designer of XCOM. (http://www.ziff.com, look under Computer Gaming World, back issues, April '95) Project release date is sometime Christmas 1995 or early 1996. It will feature SVGA graphics and a more detailed physical model. No mission disk for XCOM 1 or 2 are currently planned. 1.5.2 Other computers? There is current NO PLAN on porting XCOM2 to other computers. If you want to see a native version, tell MicroProse. You can try firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is one, it'll probably be for the Amiga. There IS an XCOM (or UFO, its European name) for Amiga. [Note: XCOM is the current name for both Europe and US releases, there is NO UFO2. It's XCOM2.] 1.5.3 How about XCOM fiction? Can I write my own? Here's the official word straight from MicroProse... If you are interested in writing fictional stories for X-COM, please write a letter which includes a clear outline and proposal for our marketing and public relations staff. [see address below] Understand that we have an in-house writer (John Possidente), so you may want to see what track our stories have taken by looking at our WWW page, at http://www.microprose.com Although we do our own stories, that is no reason you could not submit a story to us. Please include a rough outline of your story ideas, and your intent for distribution (free, on web page, for money, etc.) Tim Patterson, Spectrum HoloByte/MicroProse Software email@example.com 1.6 Where can I find XCOM related stuff? The MicroProse Homepage is at http://www.microprose.com This contains patches, updates, drivers, stories, and more. The official ftp archive site is ftp.microprose.com The new, improved, and moved UN-official XCOM Archive is at http://www.surfchem.kth.se/~aa/xcom/xcom.html It is maintained by Alasdair Allan (firstname.lastname@example.org) For other cheats and editors, try wuarchive ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/pub/MSDOS_UPLOADS/xcom2 Also Happy Puppy's Games Onramp XCOM cheat section http://happypuppy.com/games/faqcht/xcom2cht.htm And, the XCOM Sagas' homepage http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/andrew/usr/gd2d/www/xcom.html Plus Hakan Tandogan's XCOM: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown homepage http://www.franken.de/users/speedy/hakan/hobbies/games/xcom ==>/Welcome-e.html And his XCOM2: Terror from the Deep homepage http://www.franken.de/users/speedy/hakan/hobbies/games/tftd ==>/Welcome-e.html 1.7 XCOM General Information FAQ Q: With the CD version, how do I do a full install to hard drive? A: Run the INSTALL.EXE in the \HARDDISK directory on the CD. Note that you will NO LONGER get the full animation intro and finale. Q: Where is the TFTDV2 patch? A: URL:ftp://ftp.microprose.com/pub/mps-online/new-versions/tftd* 2. GEOSCAPE AND BASES "Dammit, Kaminski! Find me that alien colony!" Commander Gideon vented his frustration, "That thing has been launching raids ALL OVER Asia. It can't be that hard to find!" Kaminski stood his ground and pointed at the global plot in the base commander center. "Sir, I've had Barracudas and Tritons went over North China Sea with a fine-tooth comb. It is NOT around Japan or Hainan, or Taiwan. A Triton is patrolling India now, but if the science boys can finish researching that toy that's supposed to intercept alien transmissions I may have a better idea where to look." WHOOOOP! WHOOOOP! Red lights started flashing in the command center. "Report!" Gideon snapped. "S.O.S. signal sir! S.S.Bavaria, cargo vessel registered to Panama, is reported under alien attack. Coordinates..." "Launch Team Gold immediately!" Gideon briskly walked out the door, pausing in the doorway, "And wake Team Blue now for alert five status." "And where are you going, sir?" "To join the fun, Kaminski." Gideon's footsteps echoed down the corridor. 2.1 How is scoring calculated? Like XCOM, score is kept for both sides. You get positive score for conducting successful research capturing and/or killing aliens grounding and/or destroying USOs destroying alien bases capturing alien equipment/artifact You get negative score for losing XCOM aquanauts, crafts, SWS, and civilians. In terms of aliens, capture yields 200% of "killed" points. Of course, interrogating the captured aliens also gives points, but only if you learned something new. In terms of USOs, destruction yields 200% of "shot down" points. Of course, if you mount an recovery mission you may get more than the points you "lost" by not completely destroying the USO. For exact amounts, you need to consult the OSG. Aliens score points by fly and/or touch down on Earth complete a "resource raid" mission build alien colony and keep them opening up artifact (synomium) sites conducting terror raids (terror sites) sign pact with your sponsors The BIGGEST scores by aliens are "artifact sites" and "terror sites". You MUST respond to them. If you don't they score BIG and may put you into the negative range. [TRICK] If you don't have soldiers to deal with an artifact site or terror site, send ONE soldier in. Land, then immediately abort the mission. You'll lose a couple hundred points, but it's LESS than what you would have lost had you not sent ANYONE. Your net score is (your_score - alien_score), which is the score you see on the monthly performance report (and the graph). The funding changes are affected by your total score. 2.2 How do I win? How do I lose? You win by finding the sources of the alien threat and "deal with it" once and for all... For some ideas on what the threat is, see H. P. Lovecraft's works. You can lose by several ways: 1) You were in debt for over $1,000,000 for two months. Your sponsors had had enough of your mismanagement and terminated the XCOM project. Earth was conquered by aliens not long after. 2) You had two consecutive "bad" rating months (big negative score), and your sponsors had had enough and terminated XCOM project. Just how negative is "bad" depends on your difficulty level. For details, you need to see the OSG. 3) You lost all of your bases to the aliens. 4) UNCONFIRMED: You lost a certain number of sponsor to alien infiltration. (not sure of exact number, maybe all? All but one?) 5) You failed to destroy T'Leth after sending out the expedition. You only get one chance. 2.3 Bases 2.3.1 Where should I put my first base? Later? Remember that your bases now MUST be underwater, which limits your choices. Second, your first base has only 1 standard sonar, and even if you start adding to it right away, you are STILL stuck with that sonar for almost a whole month. You HAVE to pick a good start, or you won't detect any USOs at all! There are several things to consider while placing your first base. Keep in mind that your first base will be your only base for a while, so make sure you place it where you get maximum coverage of the sponsors, who also pays the most. The problem is how to maximize the country coverage WHILE maximizing the covered countries' total payment. Therefore, any spot can cover multiple sponsors is good. We know that the US pays the most (always), so a base near US is usually a good idea. Eastern US seaboard, near Georgia, is good that it can also cover parts of Eastern Canada. Other good spots include: Eastern Africa (covers Egyptian Cartel, Arabian Bloc, and possibly Asian Coalition) Western India (covers Asian Coalition and maybe Arabian Bloc) Japan (covers Neo-Japan, Federation of Korea, and Free China) Mediterranean (covers Euro-Syndicate and Egyptian Cartel) 2.3.2 How should I name my bases? I personally name bases based on the ocean they are in, plus the COM suffix (stands for Command). Ex: PacCom (Pacific), AtlanCom (Atlantic), IndCom (Indian), etc. If there are more than one, one gets Nor (North), Sou (South), etc. prefixes. Naming bases is important because it means less confusion on the Intercept screen on choosing which base to launch the fighters and transports. Launching from the wrong one means the craft will not get there in time, run out of fuel before getting there (never get there since it will come back first), etc. This is important since XCOM2 crafts have shorter ranges than XCOM1. 2.3.3 What should I add to my base at first? Later? Initial modifications you need for the main base are: alien containment (prisoners), general stores (ammo and captured artifacts), and wide array sonar (detection), preferably in that order. Keep in mind that the initial base is PRACTICALLY undefendable. If you have the money and the inclination to fix it, build a sub pen between to two southern sub pens first, then dismantle the north one, then dismantle the modules linking the sub pens to the base until only the airlock is left, then build to the empty space to the north. Alien containment is first since it takes longer to construct, and you already have some storage space for the captured artifacts. Besides, a "general stores" module only takes 10 days. Later, with more money, add labs, living quarters, workshops, and defense, in approximately that order. Defenses comes last usually since you can defend with aquanauts and SWSs. Of course, don't clog up the items list. Note: According to the TFTD:OSG, the 80-item limit has been expanded to 110 items, also there's a predetermined list of items you will get during base defense, so you should not see any more "50 flares and clips but no guns" scenarios. If you have lots of money and the necessary techs to build a craft, try to keep an sub pen available, 2.3.4 What types of bases should I build? I use about 5 types of bases. You can "grow" from one to another, but usually finances will limit your growth. Some players prefer to have 2-3 large multi-purpose bases rather than 6-7 specialized bases. Both strategies can work, and I don't recommend one or the other. 188.8.131.52 Sensor/Sonar Base This is also known as a "listening post" to some players. The sonar base just have sonars, and later, Transmission Resolvers. Remember to put in a storage space (for SWSs and their ammo) and a living quarter (for expansion and a few aquanauts as guards). Stock it with a SWS and a few aquanauts for defense, add one defense station when you can afford it. Transmission Resolver detects 100% of alien traffic in the effective range, which is slightly farther than Wide Array Sonar. Once you have Transmission Resolver, you don't need sonars at the same base any more. This also allows you to put up more and cheaper sonar bases. 184.108.40.206 Intercept Base Intercept Base is a Sonar Base with a hangar housing a fighter sub or two such as Barracuda or Manta. Watch the storage space since fighter subs need its own weapons and ammo. Add one if needed. Consider adding defense now (or assign more guards and SWS) since aliens may get mad seeing their USOs getting destroyed in your area. 220.127.116.11 Strike Base Strike Base is an Intercept Base with a second hangar housing a transport. Remember to add alien containment (prisoners) and storage (weapons and ammo, plus loot) when needed. Remember to transfer the artifacts to a research base after the mission! Consider adding more defense, esp. when the aliens will get really mad as you attack more of their USOs and/or bases in the area. 18.104.22.168 Command Base Your primary base, probably your also your first base, contains EVERYTHING; workshop, laboratory, defenses, sonars, sub pens, etc. A little too many eggs in one basket if you ask me... But usually you're too busy to build the REALLY specialized bases. So if defended successfully, this type of base is perfectly adequate of erasing alien presence from Earth. 22.214.171.124 Research/Manufacture Base A base should specialize in either research or manufacture, not both (doing so is putting too many eggs in one basket). Add living quarters and either workshop or laboratory as needed. Manufacture base needs more storage space or an empty hangar (if building crafts) so make sure you have enough or use TRANSFER a lot. You shouldn't have to build a lot of defenses here, esp. if you build the next variant. 126.96.36.199 Special Research/Manufacture Base USOs will start looking for your base if their brethren keeps getting attacked and destroyed in the area. If you build a base at North or South pole, and wait until USOs enter a different zone before attacking them, you can keep a base pretty safe. Many people have employed this tactic and it seems to work quite well. This is also great for MC labs location, for your aquanaut's MC training. 188.8.131.52 Sample Manufacturing base by Jim Vieira Jim had designed a NICE manufacturing base that is easy to build. Of course, he didn't put in any defenses... But you can drop a workshop and/or a living quarters for defenses. From: email@example.com (Jim Vieira) In my current game I decided to build a base strictly dedicated to manufacture. Both to make money from selling goods and to relieve the load on my other bases. I also wanted something of a 'storehouse'. Here's how I have laid it out: X- Airlock SWWWWW S- General Stores SWWrRL W- Workshops SLLLLL L- Living quarters S..... r- Sonar (to be replaced soon) SXHHHH R- Wide Sonar (trans.resolver soon) S.HHHH H- Sub pen .- open space The layout was based on strategic designs from the XCOM USG. [See next section] The sub pens have no craft. Their purpose is for building craft. The General stores take only 10 days, so they were the best choice for that long hallway. I wanted to get this base up and running very quickly. As you can see this layout gives me 350 workshops, 300 living quarters, and 300 stores. I wanted to go more but I have heard you can only have 255 of any given worker type (soldier, scientist, engineer). So with 300 living quarters, I can fit 250 engineers and a small 'strike' squad to defend the base. The 350 workshops gives me extra room for projects that require space. 2.3.5 How do I design a easy to defend base? MPS appear to have gave aliens an extra turn to deploy before allowing your soldiers to move, when compared to XCOM. Therefore you will find aliens in modules adjacent to airlocks and sub pens, but these base building hints are still valid. XXXXXX This base has only ONE access point: by the lift. X.XXXX Any other way (such as through the hangar) actually X.XXXX takes LONGER. And the long corridor spanning FOUR A..... sections makes EXCELLENT choke points and impromptu HHHHHH minefields with par.dis. grenades are great for HHHHHH defense in this kind of situations. If you don't need three hangars, you can trade the right one for XXXXXX three more structures down the right side. X.XXXX X.XXXX Basically, put the access lift off to one side of A....X the map and try to isolate that and hangars from the HHHH.X rest of the base. This should ALWAYS be the primary HHHH.X base design principle you use... There is one catch: sometimes, there's a bug in the game that eliminates some doors that leads you to the rest of the base. Without grenades and heavy weapons to "dig", you can't kill the aliens in the other section and thus cannot finish the battle at all. [Note: If any of you has the TFTD:OSG, compare this section with the OSG section on the same topic, pg 80-82. Notice any similarities?] 2.3.6 How should I defend a base? Defending a base against alien raids is tough. Fortunately, unless you are doing terribly well, aliens usually don't bother your bases for a while. But near the end, alien battleships and dreadnoughts will come after your bases, then you have a problem... To defend against that, you need a high defense rating. I don't know how much is enough yet, but I would suspect about 3000, which is what I recommended for XCOM1. That rating should be able to destroy over 90% of incoming dreadnaughts. On the other hand, if you don't have fighter subs to fight off large USOs, you may want to let it land and take it out in water (i.e. at your base). Remember you will see A LOT of aliens on a base raid, I hope you have a lot of USABLE equipment. Small USOs usually scout ahead of the large USOs that will actually raid your base. If you can destroy the scout before it detects your base, you can prevent the base attack. MC Generator will also decrease chances of detection. Inventory in transports now are available for base defense. This is DIFFERENT from XCOM, in which your transports are yet a separate place of storage. Particle Displacement Grenades are vital in base defenses. Dump a few near entrances and doors, and get ready for the alien death screams. Of course, aliens are now tougher... Remember that it's now almost impossible to get rid of particle displacement grenades once you've thrown them, see the grenades section, [Various Grenades and Magna-Pack Explosive] 2.3.7 Base Management Since it takes several weeks before additional modules to the base can be brought on-line, you need to build them ahead of time. See the base status often to see how full are your facilities getting. If they are getting close, start building additional facilities so that they'll be ready by the time you need them. Watch the STORES list to note which items takes up the most space. Those numbers may come in handy when you run out of space and have to conduct a sale of existing inventory. Examine "Monthyly Costs" several times a month. One possible end to the game is overextending yourself financially, and keeping track of your expenses before the end of the month to make sure you have enough cash to cover them all is important. Examine base information screen at least twice every month, check living quarters, workshops and labs, etc., and determine your expansion schedule. See above. Dismantle extra stuff before end of month so you don't pay maintenance on them. This screen also gives you "utilization ratio". You want to keep everyone "in use" as not to pay "idle" salaries. If a lot of your scientists or technicians are sitting idle, something is wrong, and you better deal with it. Hire engineers and scientists at the very end of the month so that they get delivered early NEXT month, so you get maximum research from them while not paying an extra penny in salary. If you fire then, do it BEFORE end of the month. 2.3.8 Base modules Name Days Cost Mant Remark ------------------------------------------------------------------ Airlock 1 300k 4k Entrance to floating base Alien Containment 18 400k 15k Holds 10 aliens TYPES Bombardment Shield 38 1200k 15k Gives defense an extra shot Gauss Defense 24 400k 10k Def value 600, Accuracy 60% General Stores 10 150k 5k Holds 50 units of equip. (2) Laboratory 26 750k 30k Allows 50 research Living Quarters 16 400k 10k Sleeps 50 M. C. Generator 33 1300K 5K Makes base harder to find M. C. Lab 24 750k 16k For troop MC training P. W. T. Defense 34 800k 14k Def value 1200, Accuracy 80% Sonar Array 12 500k 10k 500 nm rng, 5% detect/10 mins Sonic Defense 34 600k 12k Def value 900, Accuracy 70% Sub Pen 25 200k 25k Maintains 1 craft Torpedo Defense 16 200k 5k Def value 500, Accuracy 50% Trans. Resolver 26 1400k 30k Evaluate USO missions Wide Sonar Array 25 800k 15k 750 nm rng, 5% detect/10 mins Workshop 32 800k 35k Allows 50 manufacture (1) (1) In a workshop, the object being manufactured takes up some space. So you will not be able to cram all 50 technicians in there. (2) For exact composition, see [base information]>>[stores] NOTE 1: Defenses are noticeably cheaper to build in XCOM2 NOTE 2: You can dismantle a facility, even when it is under construction. Simply click on the facility, and the program will ask you do you wish to dismantle it, select OK NOTE 3: To dismantle a base, you must remove all facilities (transferring all people and equipment elsewhere if needed) then finally remove the airlock itself. NOTE 4: Transmission Resolver outranges Wide Array Sonar, and is 100% effective in detection. 2.4 Finding Alien Colonies Finding alien colonies is the first step to win the second Alien War, so find those critters' home or else... Of course, you do NOT have to take out that colony... You go after the supply subs instead, repeat as needed. Gain a few million bucks of loot if you can pull off the raid successfully. 2.4.1 XCOM Agents XCOM agents have a chance of finding an alien colony for you, but chances are pretty slim. So do not rely on that. Usually the game will reveal an alien colony only if you did VERY VERY BAD that month. 2.4.2 Watch the graphs Watch for high alien activity (check the graphs) yet no interception: there's probably an alien colony in the area. Note: alien colonies can be VERY CLOSE to each other, which should be a bug, but is not. 2.4.3 Slow patrol Send something slow like a Triton to patrol the area. An empty Triton has pretty good range and therefore is good in spotting alien bases. 2.4.4 Follow Them Home Watch USOs, esp. where they land. Trail it and follow it to their base. After it lands, patrol nearby and you should see the alien colony. If there are multiple subs landing of appearing at the same locations, there is probably a base nearby. 2.4.5 Eavesdrop Transmission Resolvers can find USOs on supply runs. Follow that will usually lead you to a base. This is a refinement of Follow Them Home. 2.5 Target Selection If several targets presents itself, which one should you attack? Here are some of my general guidelines: 2.5.1 USOs in flight Attack the biggest subs you can handle. Ajax and DUP launchers can handle small, MAYBE medium USOs. Sonic Oscillators and PWT Torpedoes are needed for the very large and huge USOs. Launch from the closest base FROM USO'S INTENDED TARGET if it is known or can be deduced from its path. Launching from the closest base at the time of contact will result in a tail chase, resulting frequently in lost tracking and waste of fuel and time. If the landing site is on the dark side (i.e. night), you may want to patrol nearby and wait for light. Of course, in the meanwhile the landed USO may take off again. Keep a fighter sub on top of a landed USO in case it takes off before your transport sub can get to it. 2.5.2 Downed/Landed USOs [Downed = shot down, Landed = landed by itself] Attack the biggest USO you can handle. (How many times did I say that?) Don't bother attacking battleships and dreadnoughts before getting MC Larger subs have more aliens and more artifacts to recover, so risk and reward are proportional. If you have a choice, attack a landed USO instead of a shot-down USO. Landed subs are undamaged and therefore have more artifacts (plus Zrbite). Of course, it also has more enemies. Some veterans have reported that they can finish game faster by attacking landed subs only. While score may not be as spectacular, they also have less risk of retaliation and can get more research done and have more money (from the extra booty). Try not to follow an USOs around with a loaded transport (with soldiers and equipment) unless it's a Triton. The transport is wasting fuel and time and it may not have enough endurance to finish the race and thus not able to respond to a different emergency (such as a terror or artifact site suddenly popping up elsewhere) 2.5.3 Terror sites and Artifact sites Attack one ASAP, no exceptions. Divert from other subs or base attacks if necessary. The penalty for ignoring a terror site is simply too large to ignore, and can cause loss of sponsors. A site will NOT disappear if you have a ship en route to it. I've been told by reliable source (Jeff, that is) that he was able to keep a terror site on the map for three days until he got bored by keep targeting it with Tritons. :-) Some terror sites are now "long missions" (two-parter), so take along LOTS of reloads... Or grab every alien ammo you can. (One more reason to research fast and furious, so you can use alien weapons) 2.5.4 Alien colonies Depending on your soldiers, you should attack an alien colony as soon as you are able to (don't take rookies) or people have low MC ability or bravery. According to some reports, a "newly established" alien colony is NOT as well defended as an "well established" one. You may want to consider leaving an alien colony alone nearby so you can keep attacking the supply subs that drops by. Just make sure you can handle the subs AND possible alien retaliation. On the other hand... Aliens build colonies like CRAZY in XCOM2. They build MORE THAN ONE PER MONTH, almost geometric growth! You have to take out a few or else... (I have a saved game where there's OVER TWENTY alien colonies on the map, and I kill at least two a month...) Alien colonies are A LOT TOUGHER in XCOM2. It's a "two-parter", meaning you have to fight your way INTO the base, then fight to destroy the heart of the base. You'll see LOTS of enemies, including the really deadly ones. Take no mercy... No stun weapons, at least in first half. See [Colony assaults] for more information. 2.6 GeoScape Tricks and Tips Many people don't realize that click on the USO's icon will bring up all known info about the USO, even crashed ones. If you detected it via Transmission Resolver, you'll know A LOT about it. USO crash sites usually disappear in a few days. If you have no soldiers available, you can let it sit for a day or two. Landed subs will take off in a few hours (less than a day). Terror Sites disappear in less than a day (which mean you have to get to one ASAP, even if it means skipping subs and landing at night!) On the other hand, you can keep terror sites on the map if you can keep it targeted by a craft, any craft. If you have several Tritons, you can probably keep it targeted almost indefinitely, and it will not disappear! Or use one of those "no-fuel" crafts. See [Unlimited fuel craft cheat (built-in)]. UNCONFIRMED: There appears to be a bug that if you went into a non- terror battle while the terror site is on the map, when you come back from battle the terror site will have disappeared. 2.7 GeoScape FAQ Q: Can I dismantle a base? A: To dismantle a base, you must remove all facilities (transferring all people and equipment elsewhere if needed) then finally remove the airlock itself. Q: Do I need sonar modules if I have Transmission Resolver? A: No. Transmission Resolver outranges even Wide Array Sonar, and is 100% effective in detection. You need NO SONARS if you have a Transmission Resolver. 3. INTERCEPTING USOS "Beta-One, your target is at bearing 335, 150 klicks, little low." AtlanCom's combat controller said, "Should be coming onto your scope any second now. Beta-Two is enroute, ETA 2 minutes." "Tally-ho, AtlanCom, going Judy," Barracuda's pilot replied. He has sighted the target and is taking over the intercept, "arming DUPpers." Circuits started to feed target information into the twin Depleted Uranium Pellet Torpedo launchers nested under the fuselage. "Target large sized, AtlanCom, continue closing to firing range. I see three levels on this baby, haven't seen this one before." "Proceed with caution, Beta-One." "Don't I always, AtlanCom?" Beta-One's pilot chuckled. "Entering firing range in five seconds. Four. Three. Two. One... Firing!" Two rocket-propelled torpedoes dropped free of the launcher, and their motors ignited two seconds later, charging toward their target. They connected five seconds later, and explosion was visible even at this distance. Alien modules fell out through the tear in the hull, and Beta-One swerved to avoid the debris. "Firing again... He's returning fire! Evading...
" "Atlancom to Beta-One. Beta-One, please reply..." 3.1 XCOM Crafts XCOM crafts are divided into two classes: conventional, and advanced. Conventional crafts are based on "normal" Earth technology, while advanced crafts are based on captured alien technology and components. There is no "ideal craft", though the Leviathan comes close. As in a navy, you probably need a "mixed fleet" of crafts in your war against the aliens. 3.1.1 XCOM Craft Summary Chart Speed Accel Fuel Wpn Hull Cargo SWS ---------------------------------------------------------- Triton 790 2 1400 0 160 14 3 Barracuda 2400 3 800 2 120 0 0 ----Research required---- Manta 4600 10 30(Z) 6? 2 400 0 0 Hammerhead 4030 9 60(Z)12? 1 960 12 0 Leviathan 5400 9 50(Z)10? 2 1250 26 4 (Z) Uses Zrbite for fuel Speed : maximum speed of craft, determines if it can keep up with subs during interception. Accel : maximum acceleration of craft, determines whether subs will stay in range Fuel : amount of fuel carried, determines endurance Wpn : number of weapon pod mounts available Hull : amount of damage the craft can take Cargo : number of "spaces" craft can carry. Each soldier is one space and each SWS is four spaces SWSs : maximum number of SWS this craft can carry. NOTE: in Fuel, 30(Z) 6? means 30 units of fuel (from UFOpedia, Zrbite), and 6? means estimated Zrbite units used. 3.1.2 Triton Pro> always available use regular fuel transport very long range Con> no weapons easily destroyed VERY slow requires monthly lease Recommendation> This transport should be okay for most purposes, since 10+1 is a normal assault configuration and enough for most purposes. On BIG jobs you may want to send a Hammerhead or Leviathan, of course. Trick> Consider intercepting an USO with it. Without weapons, it will just follow the USO around until the USO lands, then the Triton lands on top of it and starts assault immediately. 3.1.3 Barracuda Pro> 2 weapon pods always available use regular fuel Con> easily destroyed (esp. by large USOs) slow (cannot catch smaller USOs) requires monthly lease Recommendation> Keep one around for the "easy" targets 3.1.4 Hammerhead Pro> faster and takes more punishment than Barracuda transport no monthly lease since it was built by XCOM Con> Only 1 weapon pod large initial expense due to construction needs Zrbite for fuel cannot carry SWS Recommendation> You really need the Manta instead for intercept jobs. As a transport, the lack of SWS can be crippling earlier in the game, but later in the game, when soldiers are more powerful, Hammerhead may be useful. 3.1.5 Manta Pro> Next fastest sub (to Leviathan) 2 weapon pods it is rather cheap as an advanced sub no monthly lease since it was built by XCOM Con> Large initial expense due to construction needs Zrbite for fuel horrible range cannot stand alone against the largest USOs Recommmendation> Send a pair or more against the largest USOs, a single against smaller targets. This should be your primary interceptor at all times, with maybe a Barracuda or two as backup. Make sure you launch from closest base... 3.1.6 Leviathan Pro> fastest XCOM sub (keep up with anything!) huge damage capacity (can stand up to the largest USOs) 2 weapon pods holds plenty of Aquanauts and SWSs can go to any depth the only vehicle that can take you to T'Leth Con> VERY EXPENSIVE (including construction costs and materials) lots of eggs in one basket if aliens bag one of these needs lots of Zrbite for fuel Recommendation> You only need one (maybe two) of these, and reserve them for anti-battleship or -dreadnaught missions, and the final assault. Send Tritons on other missions instead. 3.2 Target Selection for USOs in transit Attack the biggest USO you can handle, and that depends on the weapons you have on the crafts. Ajax and DUP launchers can handle small, MAYBE medium USOs (expect to take some damage). Sonic Oscillators and PWT Torpedoes are needed for the very large and huge USOs, and even then you need something that can stand up to a few hits, and that means at least Mantas. Launch from the closest base FROM USO'S INTENDED TARGET if it is known or can be deduced from its path. Launching from the closest base at the time of contact will result in a tail chase, resulting frequently in lost tracking and waste of fuel and time. If the landing site is on the dark side (i.e. night), you may want to patrol nearby and wait for light. Of course, in the meanwhile the landed USO may take off again. Keep a fighter sub on top of a landed USO in case it takes off before your transport sub can get to it. 3.3 USO Attack methods Once you got a fighter sub in range of the USO, it's time to attack. Here's what different attacks mean, according to me: Cautious Attack: causes least damage per attack but remains at the longest range and therefore has the least chance of getting counter-attacked. Cautious attack is useful when you want a not too badly damaged USO (just enough to "sink" it) and your weapon outrange the USO's. Normal Attack: average damage per attack, close at steady rate, enough for most attacks if your weapon outranges the USOs. Normal attack is useful as a general purpose attack. [Interestingly, the OSG claims that Cautious Attack is virtually identical to Normal attack, only in that Cautious attack attempts to use the longest- ranged weapon first, while normal attack just shoot in range] Aggressive Attack: close to point-blank and let them have it in the face! Causes the most damage per attack, but exposes craft to counter-fire. Aggressive attack is good for brave/suicidal charges (toward an alien battleship or dreadnought, for instance). You want maximum amount of damage done in the short time the fighter sub may live under fire, so aggressive it is. 3.4 Multiple interceptors You can send multiple fighter subs to intercept a single USO. In fact, you should do so when intercepting large or very large USOs before you develope the Leviathan (which can take the damage). It is the ONLY way to keep your fighter subs alive against superior enemy firepower. You can launch up to FOUR fighter subs at a single target. Just pick the same USO as the target. As each get within range, they will hang back, and each will get its own intercept windows. When all four shows intercept, select attack on each one. The USO is stupid in that it divides fire among the fighter subs you send. So while you double/triple/quadruple the firepower you brought to bear, each of your fighter subs will receive half/one third/one fourth of the damage it would receive had it attacked alone. 3.5 Craft Weapons These weapons ONLY work underwater. If your fighter subs managed to intercept an USO in the air, weapons are useless. You'll have to wait until the USO re-enters water. Damage Range Accuracy Reload Shots --------------------------------------------------------------- Craft Gas Cannon 15 8 25% 3s 200 Ajax torpedo 60 32 70% 17s 6 D. U. P torpedo 110 50 80% 21s 3 ----Research required------------------------------------------ Craft Gauss Cannon 90 20 35% 4s 50? Sonic Oscillator 150 55 50% 5s 99 P. W. T. Launcher 200 60 100% 28s 3 Damage damage done to target if hit Range max range of weapon, Kilometers Accuracy hit probability when fired Reload seconds needed to fire next shot Shots number of shots available Note: some of the descriptions below may differ from those that appeared in the game and the OSG as well. Tell me if mine makes more sense. :-) Craft Gas Cannon: large version of the gas cannon carried by Aquanauts, this one uses gas pressure to shoot armor piercing bolts. It is fast loading, but it causes very little damage. You need something with more PK (probability of kill) than this. Ajax Torpedo: high-speed torpedo for underwater use, carries explosive warhead, uses water pressure for the hull cracking. Okay for early use, but won't work against medium USOs. D.U.P. Torpedo Launcher: new type of torpedo with a ultra-dense depleted uranium pellet as an armor piercing nose cap backed by hi- tech explosive BEHIND the cap that explodes AFTER the penetration, causes 90% more damage than Ajax torpedo, but only three shots per launcher instead of 6 of Ajax. Craft Gauss Cannon: extension of the hand-held gauss weapons, this one uses super-conducting technology to create a heavy gauss field, which is used to guide a particle stream onto the target. Unlike laser, this "gauss beam" is NOT attenuated heavily by water. Unfortunately, this weapon is NOT very accurate at craft fighting range, and overall is not that much more effective than the Ajax torpedo. On the other hand, this is a DEFINITE money maker. See [What do I manufacture to make more money?] Sonic Oscillator: extension of the alien "sonic" technology, which uses an energy field to guide a high-frequency resonance-inducing sonic wave onto the target, causing molecular disruption, sonic oscillator is probably the best craft weapon, and has a huge ammo capacity of 100 shots. Pulse Wave Torpedo Cannon: the ultimate synthesis of Terran and alien technology, this one combines a radiation seeker, Zrbite based "pulse wave displacement" propulsion for incredible underwater speed, depleted uranium pellet for target armor piercing, and Zrbite-based explosive for the biggest bang of any XCOM craft weapon. On the other hand, you can only carry three torpedoes per launcher, and they cost a lot, both launcher and ammo. 3.6 Craft Weapon Notes Match the weapon to the target. You want to force the alien to land so you can board it and recover artifacts and prisoners, not blow it into smithereens (though it might make you feel good) Replace Ajax and Craft Gas Cannon with DUP launchers ASAP. They are too weak and can only handle SMALL USOs, and they tend to disable instead of destroy them instead. Gauss cannons are okay but I would wait for Sonic Oscillators (equivalent to Plasma Cannon in XCOM, though far less accurate) I would not recommend PWT launchers, since, like Fusion Ball Launchers of XCOM, they don't cause enough "total" damage. Though if you feel like it, arm a craft with 1 PWT and 1 Sonic Oscillator. 3.7 Special Craft Tactics Here's some Tactics and tips from Master XCOM commanders to help you get the most out of your crafts. 3.7.1 Go Home Early When you send multiple crafts after one USO and the USO was shot down, the shooter will go home, but other crafts will continue onto the crash site and THEN return. Instead, click on them and turn them back early (Return to base). They will return earlier, thus be refueled and rearmed faster for the next mission. 3.7.2 Keep Landed USOs covered Even if the USO landed, keep a fighter sub on top of it until your landing craft arrives for the action. That way, if the USO takes off, you still have a chance to shoot it down before it escapes. 3.7.3 Weapon vs. subs analysis Before attacking, click on the VIEW subs button to take a look at your target before deciding whether to attack or not. Attacking with wrong weapons means either the loss of your fighter sub or the USO totally destroyed so that nothing can be recovered. Corollary: If you WANT to go after the smaller USOs, keep a fighter sub around with "wimpy" weapons. 3.7.4 Unlimited fuel craft cheat (built-in) Transfer a Barracuda or Manta to another base. Send it out on patrol IMMEDIATELY. Its fuel would be zero, but it will fly, and in fact, it will fly FOREVER! If it returned to base, then it must wait to be refueled, but then, just transfer it again. Using this trick to keep terror site targeted continuously can keep the terror site on the map until you can deal with it! 3.7.5 Don't run away! If you use cautious attack with missiles, the alien USO will JUST pull out of range as your last salvo is launched. To get that last hit, hit aggressive attack BEFORE your last salvo is launched so you get closer. This is especially important since the more powerful missiles have limited reloads and you can't afford to waste a shot. 3.8 Interception FAQ Q: How do I remove the weapons from a craft I plan to scrap? A: You can't. (Arrrggh!) Put the cheapest weapon on it (craft gas cannon) and then scrap it 4. FINANCE "We are WHAT?" Commander Rogers gasped. He had just been promoted after the loss of Commander Gideon on that last terror raid, and not even before his seat warmed to him did the first crisis hit. "I am telling you, commander. We are out of money," the accountant stabbed emphatically at the datapad he wielded in front of him as if to shield himself from Rogers. "Last I checked we had ten mil in the Bank!" "Aye, but it's end of the month. Salaries and maintainence to pay as always." Rogers sank back into his chair. "Great. So what do we do?" "Have a sale." "What?!?!" "You'll be surprised how many people will buy these alien gadgets and carcasses you've recovered. I heard they do WEIRD things with the alien bodies we dispose of. Ever tried Xarquid sushi?" Rogers grimaced and shuddered at the thought. The accountant shrugged, "I heard it tastes very good, but any way, you brought back a dozen bodies from that last raid, and the lab boys only need the two new ones. Sell the rest, plus some of the gadgets you found, and we can recover a few mil, especially if you want to sell one of those Ion Beam Accelerators. I've heard that quite a few corporations are interested in a sample..." 4.1 What really eats up money at XCOM? The answer is: maintenance and salary. If you have 100 scientists, their monthly salary is $3 million (!). Add that to your bases, and you will go broke pretty quick. Sponsors' money will barely make a dent in your expenses, as they only pay you a few million, probably not even enough for base maintenance once your base grows. Remember that expenses are deducted all at the end of the month. So if you don't have enough money in the bank for monthly maintenance, you will end the month with a NEGATIVE balance, and two months of >1 mil of debt will result in your DISMISSAL as XCOM commander! 4.2 How do I earn more money? Three (real) ways to make money in XCOM: 4.2.1 Make your sponsors happy So they will increase their payments? Sure... The problem is: they don't pay much to start with, and the increase is just enough to sneeze at. Their payments may be enough to buy some ammo and stuff, but don't expect much of an increase. 4.2.2 Manufacture arms for sale See [What do I manufacture to make more money?] Craft Gauss Cannon takes the top prize as the top TFTD moneymaker, and you are almost guaranteed a profit by manufacturing it and selling it. 4.2.3 Sell captured/surplus equipment Most of your money will be made this way. General guidelines: Dump off all your obsolete equipment (harpoon rifles when you have gauss weapons, etc.) Dump off all your surplus equipment. (You will usually end with plenty of surplus sonic cannons, etc., and those fetch very good prices on the market.) [Trick] once the research has started on the item, you can sell the item for more money. Dump the Alien equipment too. "Alien Cryogenics", "Alien Cloning", etc., are just research items, so dump them ASAP and research them when you have time and extra money. Alien corpses, yuck. All that green blood ice in the freezers. Sell them all, as they keep accumulating after each mission. Just kinda makes you wonder what do people DO with those bodies... Alien sub components such as "magnetic navigation" and "ion beam accelerator" fetch good prices. Since you usually have a surplus of them not needed for your sub construction, sell them and use the money on something else. (Aqua Plastic and Zrbite should NOT be sold as they are used in almost everything, and Zrbite must be captured) Doing all these also means you need less storage space (and less maintenance). Keep only one item of each type for research, sell the rest. You need the money and the space for more useful stuff. Consider keeping an alien colony around so you can keep raiding its supply USOs. It's a good training ground for rookies too. 4.2.4 As a last resort... You can always cheat. See [The "Transfer Salary Savings" ]. 4.3 How do I cut expenses? Many many ways. Just like governments find ways to cut meat from their budget, you will find where to cut your expenses. 4.3.1 Cut Maintenance Dismantle any unused facility. Here are some things to look for: Transmission resolver detects 100% of USOs in range, so get rid of all sonars once you have one. (Also use the chance to rearrange the base into something defensible...) You don't EVER need more than one Alien Containment module. See [Special notes on Alien Containment Facility]. Don't have too many "general stores" modules. ALWAYS sell the excess stuff so you don't need to build extras. Replace defenses ASAP. One of the latest defenses is often worth two or more of the older ones. 4.3.2 Build your own crafts Tritons and Barracudas have a monthly rental fee, XCOM crafts do not. Of course, this means you have to research subs construction and things and spend money to build them, but their advanced capabilities such as ability to take more damage is worth it. On the other hand, Tritons and Barracudas don't use Zrbite... So you may want to keep a few around, in case you run short on those. 4.3.3 Minimize salary Legally: Minimizing the people XCOM employ. Illegally: use the salary transfer cheat! 184.108.40.206 Aquanauts Except for the base garrison, all aquanauts should be assigned to a transport sub, and be ready to go at a moment's notice. Any unassigned aquanauts not needed for base garrison should be transfered to another base and put to use, or be sacked. Consider sacking the "wounded", unless their abilities made them worth retaining despite the time they will not be available. Yes, it's cold- hearted, but such is war. 220.127.116.11 Scientists Every scientist at every base should be assigned to a project all the time. You can check this easily by looking at the Base Information Screen. If no projects are available, keep about 20-25 scientists and sack the rest. Remember that you can rehire scientists with only a few days' delay. You should not have more scientists than lab capacity. If you do, sack the excess. 18.104.22.168 Technicians You usually don't ALWAYS build new items, so it is harder to determine just how many technicians you should keep during the "down" period. On the other hand, most players use the "profitability study" below and keep the techs busy building something that will fetch a good price. Remember the item being manufactured takes up space in the module, so you do NOT need 50 techs per workshop on the base. I would keep about 45 per workshop. 4.3.4 Don't overextend Building too many bases is a sure way to early bankruptcy. Pick GOOD locations first, then SLOWLY grow them. Do NOT spread all over the world immediately. Cocentrate on holding at least ONE part of Earth, then spread out cautiously. Overextending yourself is a good way to put you in debt. 4.4 What do I manufacture to make more money? TOP SECRET -- XCOM2 Profitability study -- TOP SECRET by Kasey Chang original (XCOM1 version) by Jeff Shaffer We assume that you, as XCOM supreme commander, are willing to support technicians long-term in order to make a profit. I calculated results for a hypothetical 2 workshop operation. You would get slightly better results with larger facilities, due to the economy of scale. Technician actually costs $25000 a month, and scientist $30000 a month. Check your base information screen. NOTE: Some numbers are rounded down to nearest 1000 (K) for space Work Eng Raw Sale Unit|Monthly|Net Item Space Hrs Material Cost Price P R O F I T ----------------------------------------------------------------- Par. Disp. Sensor 4 220 - 34K 45K 11K 3765K 1275K Medikit 4 420 - 28K 46K 18K 3146K 656K M.C. Disruptor 4 500 1Z 160K 194K 29K 4242K 1752K Aq.plas. Armor 12 800 4A 22K 54K 6K 491K - Ion armor 16 1000 5Z+5A 42K 85K - - - Mag. Ion armor 16 1400 16Z+5A 58K 115K - - - Aqua Plastic 10 100 - 3K 6K 3K 2343K 3K Gauss Pistol 2 300 - 8K 20K 12K 2916K 376K Gauss pistol clip 2 20 - 1K 1050 - Gauss Rifle 3 400 - 20K 36K 16K 3049K 534K Gauss rifle clip 4 45 - 2K 1950 - Heavy gauss 4 700 - 32K 61K 29K 2958K 468K Heavy gauss clip 4 70 - 4K 3220 - Sonic Pistol 3 600 1A 56K 84K 21K 2586K 71K Sonic Pistol Clip 4 60 1Z 2K 4K - - - Sonic Blasta Rifle 4 820 1A 88K 126K 32K 2787K 297K Blasta Power Clip 4 80 2Z 3K 6K - - - Sonic Cannon 4 1000 1A 122K 171K 43K 3078K 588K Cannon Power Clip 4 80 3Z 6K 9K - - - Dis. Pulse L'cher 5 1200 1A 90K 144K 47K 2797K 332K Dis. Pulse ammo 3 220 3Z 8K 17K - - - Thermo Shok l'cher 3 900 1A 78K 120K 35K 2846K 331K Thermo Shok bomb 2 200 1Z 7K 15K 3K 1166K - Sonic pulser 2 200 2Z 6K 14K - - - M.C. Reader 4 1200 1Z 262K 304K 37K 2202K - Ion beam accel. 22 1400 16Z+5A 130K 250K 7K 310K - Mag Navigation 18 1600 3A 150K 80K - - - P.W.Torp l'cher 6 400 1A 242K 281K 36K 6294K 3874K P.W.T ammo 6 600 4Z 28K 53K 5K 617K - Gauss Craft Cannon 6 300 - 182K 211K 29K 6904K 4434K Gauss Cannon ammo 2 5 - 200 200 - - - Sonic Oscillator 8 500 15Z 226K 267K - - - Coelacanth/Gauss 25 1200 - 500K 594K 94K 4371K 2406K Displacer/sonic 30 1200 30Z+5A 850K 980K - - - Displacer/P.W.T. 0 1400 25Z+8A 900K 1043K - - - P.W.T. SWS ammo 25 400 5Z+8A 15K 31K - - - The "Unit Profit" column is sale price minus cost, minus the cost of any Zrbite/Aqua plastic used in manufacture. A '-' means a net loss, no further analysis. Of course, Zrbite is of alien manufacture and can be hard to find... "Monthly Profit" column is based on an "XCOM Month" of 24*31 = 744 hours. The calculation is number of technicians that fit in two workshops times 744 times unit profit, divided by the hours required to make one item. For example, the monthly profit for Motion Scanners is 96*744*11600/220 = 1275993 (1275K). Of course, that is not quite accurate since TFTD does do months more correctly now (Feb has 28 days, etc.) "Net Profit" column is the bottom line. Monthly expenses are the salaries of as many engineers as fit in the workshops times $25K, plus the maintenance on 2 workshops and 2 living quarters (70000 monthly). (Note I wrote 25K, not 50K as advertised) As you can see, Gauss Craft Cannon is the winner, closely edging out PWT Launcher. A profit can be made early in the game on particle displacement sensors, however. One final note: It costs roughly $7M to hire technicians and build the facilities, so you'll need to "borrow" some money (preferably from alien supply ships :) to get started. [Editor's note: don't forget the "transfer salary cheat" below] 4.5 The "Transfer Salary Savings" cheat Have two bases approximately equivalent to each other, like both research (or manufacturing), about same living quarters, and scientists (or engineers). Just before end of the month (last day, last hour), leave only ONE scientist/engineer on the job, and transfer the rest to the other base, and do the same on the other base (i.e. they swap their contingent). When the end of month comes along, NEITHER side has their scientists (engineers) (they are in transit), no salary is paid (except for the 2 left behind at each base). If you have like 100 scientists moving each way, you save $30,000x100x2 = $6 million! 4.6 Aliens signed pact with XXX! Nothing you can do. One of the Infiltration subs got through and now the sponsor stopped paying you. Consensus on the net is you canNOT get them back (i.e. nullify the pact). If enough sponsors left you, you will probably lose. 4.7 XCOM Finance FAQ Q: Can I get back a sponsor who was infiltrated by aliens and stopped funding me? A: See [Aliens signed pact with XXX!] above. Q: I don't understand the Profit Analysis. What do I need to build to make money again? A: (sigh) Look at the RIGHTMOST column for the potential profit. See the largest number? It corresponds to "Craft Gauss Cannon". Q: But I don't have "Craft Gauss Cannon" yet... A: Further glance at the RIGHTMOST column shots that Medikit also makes some profit, though quite a bit less than CGC. 5. RESEARCH/INTERROGATION AND MANUFACTURING "Here we are, _Kommandate_." The Chief Scientist opened the airlock with a thumbprint AND a voice ID, and stepped through first. Commander Rogers followed, and the door closed. They waited for the other side to cycle through. "You said you've made some progress?" Commander Rogers asked. "Wery important progress, _Kommandante_! It is so good, I vould 'ave to SHOW you." "So please do." The air lock cycled through and the scientist lead Rogers to a large glass enclosure, surrounded by computer consoles. Inside is a captured "Deep One", now dissected and hooked up to a lot of electrodes and wires. "So? I've seen plenty of these." "Ah, but wait, _Kommandante_. Do you recall that we had discovered the molecular control dewice within the brain? We have finally decoded its control protocol! It is absolutely ingenious how they did it, very efficient yet such a high bandvidth!" "Get to the point." "Ah, yes. Do me a favor. Can you sit down over here? Good. Can you put on this helmet for me?" "Why me?" "Your test scores, _Kommandante_. You have been certified compatible with this helmet. Great! Let me turn on the superconductors inside... Aha!" "And?" "This helmet is a neuro-sensing helmet, _Kommandante_. It can sense your thoughts. It is connected to the MC transmitter. Just THINK moving your right arm, and look ower there..." Nothing happened. "You must concentrate, harder, _Kommandante_... Your arm is heavy, and you must raise it higher... Higher..." Behind the protective enclosure, the Deep One is actually slowly raising its right arm! Rogers slowly moved his hands around, and the Deep One echoed his motions. "This is great! But it's a little too big..." "Ah, not to worry, _Kommandante_. We are working on a hand portable version, with ten times the transmission power, enough to jam any molecular circuits the aliens may have!" 5.1 What should I start researching first? Interestingly, you must research something before it can be THROWN. I recommend gauss weapons for the starting projects. Dart pistols and Jet Harpoons are pitiful against Sonic Blasta Rifles and Sonic Pulsers (super grenade) :-P Get gauss pistols and gauss rifles first, ignore heavy gauss for now. After that, research medikit and all dead bodies you've found so far. Medikit allows you to survive any shots that haven't killed you yet (since you don't have armor yet), and hopefully you've found a "Deep One" corpse, which will allow you to have aqua plastic armor. Now you need sonic weapons, and I hope you've captured some by now. As for later, you need to capture aliens ASAP. Without captured aliens you would have nothing to research, which is VERY BAD. Capture would be hard since you don't have enough firepower... Go for kills until you nab a couple Thermal Shok Launchers and Thermal Shok Bombs, and research them ASAP. Ignore the "Alien components" till last. They are "dead-end" items. 5.2 Overall strategy Keep roughly 100-150 scientists in your employment. You need that much research to discover things in reasonable time, though you can probably get by with 50-75. Due to the way research works, concentrate on one project at a time so you can start on later topics faster. Research prisoners AND dead aliens ASAP. They lead to other techs. WARNING: DO NOT RESEARCH TASOTH COMMANDER. According to "FractalLaw", researching Tasoth Commander will result in NO Leviathan, which means you will not be able to finish the game. (interestingly, they don't exist in OSG's alien chart) Hammerhead is a CRUCIAL point in the research tree. 5.3 Duplicate Research -- NOT! Do NOT have two or more bases research the same thing. Research efforts are NOT cumulative. Sometimes a captured alien will appear on the list over and over, and if you keep researching it, you may spend the time and effort without finding anything. Consult the research tree below. Some aliens CAN be researched multiple times and yield different results, but others are just a waste of time and effort. 5.4 Research Tree [probably incomplete] These research trees are to the best of my knowledge. If you believe I have made an error, please document YOUR sequence and submit them to me for review... The "requirements" are more stringent in XCOM2 for researching items. Often you must have items already present to be able research it when a breakthrough is made. This research tree format was inspired by Roy Indrebo of Norway. Tree Format: [Research Topic] -> (Manufacturable item) ==>
- -> [Topic 2] [Research Topic], when researched, leads to (Manufacturable item). Which, with presence of
- , leads to Topic 2 being available. [Gauss Tech] ==> [Gauss Pistol] -> (Gauss Pistol) [Gauss Pistol Clip] -> (Gauss Pistol Clip) ==> [Gauss Rifle] -> (Gauss Rifle) [Gauss Rifle Clip] -> (Gauss Rifle Clip) ==> [Heavy Gauss] -> (Heavy Gauss) [Heavy Gauss Clip] -> (Heavy Gauss Clip) ==> [Craft Gauss Cannon] -> (Craft Gauss Cannon) [Craft Gauss Cannon Ammo] -> (Craft Gauss Cannon Ammo) ==> [Gauss Defense] -> (Gauss Defense) [Hammerhead] + [Gauss Cannon] = [Coelacanth/Gauss] -> (Coelacanth/Gauss) [live alien] -> [Alien Origins] | [Gillman or ] V [Lobsterman ] -> [The Ultimate Threat] + [Lobsterman Cmdr] -> [T'Leth] [Cmdr or Nav] [Live Medic] -> [Alien Autopsy Info] (maybe) [Live Squad Leader] -> [Alien Origins / Mission Info] (maybe) [Live Technician] -> [Alien USO Info] (maybe) [Sonic Pulser] -> (Sonic Pulser) [Sonic Pistol] -> (Sonic Pistol) -------------\___ [Sonic Pistol Clip] -> (Sonic Pistol Clip)----/ \ \ [Sonic Blasta Rifle] -> (Sonic Blasta Rifle)--\______\__ [Sonic Rifle Clip] -> (Sonic Rifle Clip)------/ / | / | [Sonic Cannon] -> (Sonic Cannon)--------------\____/ | [Sonic Cannon Clip] -> (Sonic Cannon Clip)----/ | | +------------------------------------------------------+ | +-> [Sonic Oscillator] -> (Sonic Oscillator) | +-> [Sonic Defense] -> (Sonic Defense) [Hammerhead] + [Sonic Oscillator] -> (Displacer/Sonic) [Thermal Shok Launcher] -> (Thermal Shok Launcher) [Thermal Shok Bomb] -> (Thermal Shok Bomb) [Live Terrorist] -> [M.C. Lab] ----> (M.C. Lab) | V [M.C. Reader] ----> [M.C. Reader] -> (M.C. Reader) | V [Live Tasoth] ----> [M.C. Disruptor]+-> (M.C. Disruptor) | V [M.C. Generator] -> (M.C. Generator) [Calcinite Corpse] -> [Vibroblade] -> (Vibroblade) | V [Gillman Corpse]----> [Thermic Lance] -> (Thermic Lance) | V [Heavy Thermic Lance] -> (Heavy Thermic Lance)
-> [Zrbite] ==> -> [D.P.L] -------> (D.P.L) -----------> [D.P.L. Ammo] -> (D.P.L.Ammo) [D.P.L.] + [D.P.L.Ammo] -> [P.W.T. Launcher] -> (PWT Torpedo) | +--> [PWT Defense] --> (PWT Defense) [Hammerhead] + [P.W.T.Launcher] --> [Displacer PWT] -> (Displacer PWT) -> [Deep One Corpse] -> -> [aqua plastics] -> (Aqua plastics) [Deep One Corpse] + [Aqua Plastics] --> [aqua plastic armor] -> (aqua plastic armor) -> [Ion Beam Accelerators] -> (I.B.A.) -> [Live Deep One] [I.B.A.] + [Aqua Plastic armor] + [Live Deep One] -> [Ion Armor] ==> (Ion Armor) -> [Live Lobsterman Nav] + [Live Lobsterman Nav] -> [Magnetic Navigation] -> (Mag Nav) [Transmission Resolver] -> (Transmission Resolver) [Mag Nav] + [I.B.A.] -> [Magnetic Ion Armor] -> (Magnetic Ion Armor) + [Zrbite] + [Transmission Resolver] ==> [Alien sub construction] [I.B.A.] + [Alien Sub Construction] ==> [Manta] --> (Manta) | V [Hammerhead] --> (Hammerhead) * very important! [Live Lobsterman Commander] + [Hammerhead] ==> [Leviathan] --> (Leviathan) Tasoth Commander -> T'Leth, the Alien City (NO Latest Flying Sub!!!!!) 5.5 Any hints on manufacturing? Only manufacture thing that you REALLY need, like crafts, etc. almost NEVER manufacture ammo since most require Zrbite, which is always in short supply. Captured ammo is much cheaper and don't use your precious Zrbite supply. OTOH, Zrbite appears to be a bit more plentiful in XCOM2.. . So go ahead and make 20 Thermal Shok Bombs for your raids... NEVER let any engineers go idle. If you don't need anything built, build something that makes money. 5.6 Research and Manufacturing FAQ Q: How do I get... A: Please look at the research tree first Q: But I can't get... A: Are you SURE you got the pre-requisites researched and necesary items at the research base? Q: What's the maximum scientists/technicians I can have? A: 255 of each per base (you maybe able to hire more, but you may run into a bug!) 5.7 Stuff that can be bought, hire, or leased These are the stuff you can buy, usually not very interesting or useful, but they're all you've got early on. Item Category Cost Note ------------------ Aquanaut Personnel 40000 hiring bonus Scientist Personnel 60000 hiring bonus Technician Personnel 50000 hiring bonus Triton Craft 500000 hiring bonus Barracuda Craft 600000 hiring bonus Ajax Torpedo lchr Craft Weapon 16000 6 rounds Ajax Torpedo Craft Ammo 3000 D.U.P. Torp lchr Craft Weapon 17000 2 rounds D.U.P. Torpedo Craft Ammo 9000 Craft Gas Cannon Craft Weapon 30000 Cannon Ammo (x50) Craft Ammo 1240 Coelacanth/GC SWS 420000 30 rounds Solid Harp.Bolt SWS Ammo 200 Coelacanth/AJT SWS 480000 8 rounds AquaJet Torp SWS Ammo 3000 Dart Pistol Weapon 800 12 rd/clip Pistol Clip Ammo 70 Jet Harpoon Weapon 3000 10 rd/clip Harpoon pod Ammo 200 Gas Cannon Weapon 6400 6 rd/clip GC-AP Ammo 300 GC-HE Ammo 500 GC-P Ammo 400 AquaJet Cannon Weapon 13500 14 rd/clip AC-AP Ammo 500 AC-HE Ammo 700 AC-P Ammo 650 Torpedo Launcher Weapon 4000 Small Torp Ammo 600 Large Torp Ammo 900 Phosphorus Torp Ammo 1200 Magna-Blast Grde. Weapon 300 Smoke Grenade Weapon 150 Par.Disp.Grenade Weapon 500 Magna-Pck Explo. Weapon 1500 Thermal Tazer Weapon 1260 Chemical Flare Equipment 60 Personnel have monthly salary of half of hiring bonus Craft have month lease payment same as hiring bonus 5.8 Stuff that must be researched and manufactured The "advanced technology" items are much more useful, but most of them requires special resources such as Zrbite and Aqua plastics, which must be captured (though you can manufacture aqua plastics later). Engr Workshop Aqua Sale Hours Cost Space Zrbite Plas. Price ----------------------------------------------------------------- [Equipment] Par. Disp. Sensor 220 34k 4 - - 45600 Medikit 420 28k 4 - - 46500 M.C.Reader 1200 262k 4 1 1 304000 M. C. Disruptor 500 160k 4 1 - 194700 [Armor] Aqua plas.armor 800 22k 12 - 4 54000 Ion Armor 1000 42k 16 5 5 85000 Mag. Ion Armor 1400 58k 16 16 5 115000 [SWS] Coelacanth/Gauss 1200 500k 25 - - 59400 Gauss ammo ? 200 ? - - ? Displacer/Sonic 1200 850k 30 30 5 980000 Displacer/PWT 1400 900k 30 25 8 1043000 SWS PWT 400 15k 25 5 8 31500 [weapons] Gauss pistol 300 8k 2 - - 20000 Gauss pistol clip 20 1k 3 - - 1050 Gauss rifle 400 20k 3 - - 36900 Gauss rifle clip 45 2k 4 - - 1950 Heavy gauss 700 32k 4 - - 61000 Heavy gauss clip 70 4K 4 - - 3220 Sonic pistol 600 56k 3 - 1 84000 Sonic pistol clip 60 2k 4 1 - 4440 Sonic blasta rifle 820 88k 4 - 1 126500 Blasta power clip 80 3k 4 2 - 6290 Sonic Cannon 1000 122k 4 - 1 171600 Cannon power clip 80 6k 4 3 - 9590 Dis. Pulse l'cher 1200 90k 5 - 1 144000 Dis. Pulse ammo 220 8k 3 3 - 17028 Thermo Shok l'cher 900 78k 3 - 1 120000 Thermo Shok bomb 200 7k 2 1 - 15200 Sonic Pulser 200 67k 2 2 - 14850 Vibroblade 150 7k 3 1 - 1500 Thermic Lance 220 12k 3 2 1800 Hvy Thermic Lance 300 20k 3 2 2000 [Crafts] Hammerhead 14000 400k 30 - 65 -* Manta 18000 600k 34 - 85 -* Leviathan 34000 900k 36 - 120 -** [Craft Weapons] Gauss cannon 300 182k 6 - - 211000 Gauss Ammo 5 200 2 - - 1012 Sonic oscillator 500 226k 8 15 - 267300 P.W.T. launcher 400 242k 6 - - 281100 P.W.T. ammo 600 28k 6 4 - 53300 [Misc] Aqua plastic 100 3k 10 - - 6500 Zrbite *** --- -- 5000 Ion Beam Accel. 1400 130k 22 16 5 250000 Mag. Navigation 1600 150k 18 - 3 80000 * needs 1 Ion Beam Accel. + 1 Mag. Navigation **needs 2 Ion Beam Accel. + 1 Mag. Navigation *** Zrbite can ONLY be captured as parts of sub or base, which makes it extremely valuable, so NEVER sell or waste any of it 6. THE ALIENS "Let's try the basic gestures," the xenologist said. The alien contact speciliast looked at the captured alien inside, one of those "Gillmen", and shrugged. She pointed to herself and said, "I, human." Then she pointed at the alien, "You?" The alien just looked at her, and did nothing. In fact, the alien looks totally bored. X-rays showed that this alien is female, and even the specialist thought she looked BORED. The specialist tried again. Nothing. The third time she tried it, the alien replied in English. "Shut up. You are boring me." The xenologist were shocked, then they busily chattered/conferred among themselves. The specialist was intrigued and asked, "You speak English?" According to the files, this specimen was captured not too far from Baja California at an alien colony. The Gill-women replied easily, "Yes, and the languages known to you as French and Chinese." There was no trace of accent. "So, you are not... Alien?" "My race originated on this planet, just as yours did." "But how? We didn't find..." The specialist spared a glance above the alien, where the camera and the microphone are taping down every movement and sound. It's time to play the "good cop"... 6.1 Average Alien Stats on veteran (normal) level There's a modifier for the alien stats depending on the difficulty level. Veteran level is 100%. Beginner/Experience gets a < 1.0 modifier, while Genius and Superhuman gets a > 1.0 modifier. You can probably figure out the modifier if you play a few games on the other levels and compare the numbers you get to this chart. Name Rank TU Hl En Re St FA TA F L/R B U -------------------------------------------------------------- Aquatoid Soldr 54 30 90 63 30 52 58 4 3 2 2 Ldr 54 35 90 63 30 52 58 4 3 2 2 MC Tech 54 35 90 63 30 52 58 4 3 2 2 Medic 54 35 90 63 35 52 58 4 3 2 2 MC Nav 54 35 100 63 40 52 58 4 3 2 2 MC Cmdr 54 35 100 63 40 52 58 4 3 2 2 -------------------------------------------------------------- GillMan Soldr 40 45 80 45 47 45 50 15 12 14 12 Ldr 45 50 80 45 47 49 54 15 12 14 12 Tech 45 55 80 50 50 54 58 15 12 14 12 MC Cmdr 50 60 80 53 52 58 65 15 12 14 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Tasoth Soldr 56 125 100 80 70 54 62 20 20 20 10 MC Ldr 66 135 100 80 70 65 62 20 20 20 10 -------------------------------------------------------------- LobsterMan Soldr 56 90 90 60 70 54 62 20 20 15 10 Ldr 66 110 90 65 70 54 62 20 20 15 10 Tech 70 115 95 70 70 54 62 20 20 18 10 Nav 74 120 95 75 70 54 62 20 20 18 10 Cmdr 76 125 100 80 70 54 62 22 22 20 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Deep One Ter 50 35 90 55 40 70 58 8 6 4 12? Tricene Ter 72 158 90 69 120 80 80 120 110 110 8 Xarquid Ter F 40 114 80 50 70 65 50 50 50 50 5 Calcinite Ter 68 55 96 75 110 74 80 35 35 35 10 Tentaculat Ter F 99 96 140 90 100 50 50 35 35 35 10 Hallucinoid Ter F 62 120 90 90 90 80 80 35 35 35 25 Biodrone Ter F 80 140 120 40 120 90 0 25 15 10 5 Drone N/A 40 84 110 40 120 0 0 4 4 4 4 F = Can fly MC = can use MC attack NOTE 1: you can get info on a particular alien by using a M.C.Reader on them. Leaders and commanders are 10 to 20% higher than "regulars", and there appears to be random modifiers, depending on rank and position. Stats are also higher on higher difficulty levels. NOTE 2: higher rank aliens also have higher "intelligence", which means they will remember your location longer. Some alien species are also more intelligent than others. 6.2 Alien attack/defense summary Alien Attack Defend Vulnerable ------------------------------------------------------------ Aquatoid weapon, MC* HTH,SO Gillman weapon, MC* SO,HTH Lobsterman weapon, HTH AP,HE,IC,SO,GA HTH,stun Tasoth weapon, MC* IC,AP,GA,HTH SO,stun Calcinite HTH (claw) IC,GA,HTH SO Deep One electric shock AP,IC,HE,GA SO,HTH BioDrone sonic beam GA, IC HTH** Tentaculat HTH AP,GA HE,SO,Stun,HTH Triscene HTH, SO all except HTH HTH Xarquid GA, Dye Grenade all exc. HTH,AP HTH,AP Hallucinoid freeze ray, HTH AP,GA,SO,HTH IC Drone/Zombie HTH (claw) MC*** all HTH = hand to hand IC = incendiary/fire AP = armor piercing SO = sonic HE = high explosive GA = gauss Alien alien name Attack attack method Defend resistance to type(s) of attack Vulnerable vulnerable to type(s) of attack * Only on SOME aliens, not all, see 6.1 ** BioDrone does NOT explode when killed with HTH attack *** Zombie/Drone is virtually immune to XCOM MC attacks 6.3 Alien Missions Alien Probe survey area for resources Alien Interdiction attack areas to drive out human presence Alien Resource Raid grab for resources Alien Infiltration infiltrate sponsor nations Colony expansion build new colonies Surface attack terror raid Floating base attack attack XCOM base Colony Resupply resupply other colonies from main base 6.4 Battle Notes on individual aliens Kill Tentaculats anywhere. Kill them fast, even if it means wiping out any civilians near it. Use all heavy weapons on it freely. You can't afford to see any Drones. (At least Drones don't fly...) If you are REALLY worried about Tentaculats (or don't want any one die without making a kill), have everyone carry a PRIMED grenade around. If your soldier got turned into a zombie, or killed, all equipment gets dropped, and the grenade should go BOOM at the end of the turn. Tentaculats CAN attack "floating" soldiers (via mag. ion armor). Lobsterman are more vulnerable to stun weapons than most. 6.5 USO speed, range, etc. Size Spd Dam Wpwr Wrng ?km Survey Ship VS 2000 60 0 0 0 Escort S 2800 300 30 104 13 Cruiser S 2600 300 25 280 35 Heavy cruiser M 3800 450 60 160 20 Hunter M 4500 500 50 144 18 Battleship L 4200 1400 140 400 50 Dreadnaught VL 4500 3400 120 480 60 Flt Supply Cruiser L 3400 2000 70 304 38 * Weapon Range should be divided by 8 for range in KM, see 7.5 ? Range in kilometers are estimated based on XCOM1 data, not confirmed. Please let me know if this is not correct! 7. SOLDIERS AND NON-COMBAT EQUIPMENT "All right, aquanauts! Attention! "Today is your aptitude test. So far, all of you have received XCOM basic training. However, we all know that some of you are better at some things than others. As we are about to introduce special equipment training, it is time we know what you are REALLY good at. "The tests have been uploaded into your desk terminals. Have a seat now. You have two hours. The physical test and weapons test is scheduled for this afternoon. Tomorrow I will announce the results. "Any questions? Good! The test starts on my mark... Now!" 7.1 Recruiting Aquanauts Sack weaklings ASAP. You want high strength, reaction, bravery, and shooting accuracy, and when you get MC, MC ability. So recruit lots of rookies, use them for scouts (they are cheap when compared to SWSs). If they survive, keep them, else, oh, well, they've done the world a great service. :-) Why those traits? High strength means they can carry more (and heavier) stuff. High reaction means they can get opportunity fire (reaction shots) while enemy is moving. High bravery means they are less susceptible to panic, and shooting accuracy is obvious. :-) Other characteristics are not as important. 7.2 How do I improve soldiers? Growth: Try to always take a couple of rookies along to give them experience to boost their stats. In XCOM, you learn by doing. Below are activities that will improve traits: Time Units Survive, Kills Strength Carry heavy stuff Energy Survive, Kills Throwing Accuracy Throw more! Firing Accuracy Shoot more! Bravery fixed? get panicked more??? Health Survive, Kills Reactions fixed? Make more reaction shots??? MC Ability fixed MC Skills Use more MC attacks Soldiers with kills gain more than those without kills. on the other hand, grenade and missile kills do not count, only HTH and gun kills count in improvements. Try not to let SWS get a kill since you will lose a chance to let a soldier improve, so leave the easy shots (against panicked aliens, for example) to the rookies. MC skill also improves with use. (MC Abl does not increase though) Promotion: Ensigns come from able seamen, and able seamen come from Seamen who survived a mission and gotten at least one kill. You just need to HIRE some more soldiers, then when some of them got promotions, you sack the low-ranks. For exact numbers of soldiers to get promotions, see the manual. The advantage of having officers? They decrease morale lost when someone is killed. Of course, when officers get killed, those of lower rank are even MORE devastated. 7.3 Soldier Specialties / Change soldier names We recommend that instead of using the default names, you adopt a naming system for your soldiers that will help you to know at a glance who to take on a mission. To change the name, go to the soldiers screen (the one base display) that displays their stats. Click on their name, and a cursor comes up, allowing you to change them. System One reflects a specialty, such as scout (SC), heavy weapons (HW), demolitions (DM), MC combat (MC), sharpshooter (SS), etc. For example, "Steve Rogers HW/MC" has lots of strength and nice time units for carrying the heavy weapons (and shooting them). His MCStr and MCSkl is also pretty high so he also carries a MCAmp for MC combat. Here's some suggested specialties Scout (SC) carry particle displacement sensor Medic (MD) carry MediKit Sharpshooter (SS) shooter, carry nice guns Intelligence (IT) carry MC Reader Heavy Weapons (HW) carry "heavy" stuff Molecular Control (MC) carry MC Disruptor You can also cross-train, of course. There's no limit in the number of spots each person can hold... And real-life SEAL teams are mostly cross-trained any way. System Two just places the numbers in the name. Use just the first digit, round up (if rating is 42, use 4, 47 would be 5). Example is "Steve Rogers 4345" System Three, includes a letter for the area the soldier is good in, like A)ccuracy, T)Us, etc. Assuming 10 soldiers and 1 SWS (normal for a Triton): 2 medics/pack mule (carry medikit + reloads + grenades) 2 MC/grenadiers (pistol and lots of grenades) + MC stuff 2 rifleman (rifles, maybe heavy, plus grenades) 2 heavy weapons (heavy stuff, including disruptor pulse) 2 scout (high TUs + react, carry grenade and pistols) If you decide to go to 14 soldiers, add two more rifleman and 1 more grenadier/MC weapons, and 1 more heavy weapons. 7.4 Missing in Action If one of your troopers in under alien control at the end of a battle s/he counts as MIA; therefore try to wait until s/he is no longer in control before finishing off aliens. If you abort a mission, any soldiers you leave behind (not in craft or exit zone) is MIA. On missions with a transport, any one not in the transport are "left behind". On an alien base assault, any one not on the exit zone are "left behind". Yet another way to get people MIA is to try abort mission with only an unconscious soldier in the transport. You'll lose that person as MIA as well as the transport (strangely, a SWS counts as a "soldier", and you can't stun an SWS, so an SWS can "pilot" back the transport. :-) Note: I've had reports of people using the patch, and had unconcsious people considered MIA, so far unconfirmed HINT: use MediKit to wake them up (stimulant) then march them in if that happens to you. 7.5 Packing Advice The item limit is always a problem, especially on an Hammerhead and Leviathan, when you can carry LOTS of soldiers. Here's a couple more hints to see you through the item crunch: If you are short on ammo clips, use sonic weapons, which use less ammo (no auto-fire mode, both a blessing AND a curse). [CHEAT: use weapon editor and create a weapon that uses no ammo!] Carry only ONE clip for your sonic weapons. You should be able to find plenty of reloads during battle, esp. for Sonic Cannon (which seems to be used by all aliens near the end of the game) Bring less misc. equipment such as MC Readers, medikits, particle displacement sensors, M.C. Disruptors, and so on. You don't need everything on every person (except maybe Medikits) Bring SWSs if you can. SWS is one item yet has plenty of firepower. Too bad it takes FOUR soldier's space. Still, they are quite useful in the early parts of the game Don't fight at night so that you need to take along all those chemical flares which you end up throwing all over the place. (exception: Attack Terror Sites ASAP) Of course, you can always pick up those flares and throw them again. 7.6 Basic Loadout for Transports Triton : 1 SWS / 10 aquanauts or 14 aquanauts. The SWSs early on carry more firepower and has more TUs than soldiers, which makes them good scouts, and more survivable. Switch to only soldiers later. Hammerhead : as many soldiers as you can fit. Hammerhead doesn't take SWSs. Bring enough equipment for all those soldiers you got! Leviathan : 14 soldiers / 3 SWSs or 18 soldiers / 2 SWSs. If you carry more soldiers you don't have equipment for them. If you put in more SWS you actually lose firepower. As the end of game draws near, your best soldiers should be as fast as SWSs and carries just as much (if not more) firepower. SWSs are there to simply scout ahead, esp. the PWT and/or Sonic versions (one each). 7.7 Equipment list TU Usage ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Chemical Flare 25% Use at dark places for illumination --Must research and build--------------------------------------------- Medikit 10% heal fatal wounds, raise morale, revive unconscious people, add energy Particle Disp Sensor 25% registers movement within 8 squares, see UFOpedia for instructions M.C.Reader 50% allows you to see alien's status screen (ID, TUs remain, health, + other stats) M.C.Disruptor 50% with M.C.training, allows panic or control of aliens Note: you can use medikits on ALIENS! (may be useful for captures...) 7.8 Other Actions/ TU cost cross-reference from\to hand belt shoulder leg backpack ground hand 0 8 10 8 14 2 belt 4 0 12 10 16 4+2=6 shoulder 3 10 0 3+8=11 3+14=17 3+2=5 leg 4 10 4+10=14 0 4+14=18 4+2=6 backpack 8 8+8=16 8+10=18 8+8=16 0 8+2=10 ground 8 8+8=16 8+10=18 8+8=16 8+14=22 0 Crouch 4 Un-crouch (stand) 6 Load Weapon 15 Throw item 25% of base 7.9 Equipment FAQ Q: Why do I lose ammo that was fired only a few times? A: After combat all clips that had been USED in the battle and left in their weapons are lost, no matter only 1 round fired or totally empty. UNUSED clips are NOT affected, nor are the clips separate from weapon. HINT: You should unload any weapons that had fired and use valuable ammo before the battle ends. HINT: You can get MORE clips if you unload captured alien weapons that you come across. If you have MC, have the alien throw you the weapon. Q: Why should I need grenades when I have heavy weapons? A: Heavy weapons such as torpedo launcher, hydrojet cannon, and gas cannon weigh A LOT. For the same weight you can carry a lighter weapon plus a couple grenades, and move faster and further as a result. Q: How do I wake up unconscious soldiers? A: See UFOpedia on Medikit. HINT: Heal any fatal wounds first before attempt to revive. HINT: After applying shot of stimulant, exit medikit screen and check your inventory. If "body" is still on ground, apply another shot of stimulant until the "body" is no longer on ground. S/he should appear in an adjacent square. You may need LOTS of stimulant shots to revive a stunned soldier. HINT: Stimulant also raises ENERGY. If you had soldiers running all across battlescape, add some stimulant if they can't move. HINT: Pain killer raises morale, so if solider is panicking a lot, add some pain killer may help. Q: How do I use particle displacement sensor? A: See UFOpedia HINT: They are useful to detect that one last alien you can't find, esp. at night when visibility is less, or city blocks (but there you have civilians) HINT: They are somewhat useful for looking behind closed doors that you would like to enter. Q: How do I use the Disruptor Pulse Launcher or Displacer/PWT? A: When you select Launch, you can specify a series of up to 9 "waypoints" which can go around any thing, climb and dive, even fly in circles. The final waypoint is the explosion point, UNLESS it runs into something solid first. HINT: There MUST be something solid at the last waypoint or the "torpedo" will NOT explode! I usually fly the pulse overhead, then dive. If not, fly the pulse all around the impact zone to try to make it run into SOMETHING. HINT: You can UNset a waypoint by right-clicking Q: How do I use Chemical Flare? A: Chuck one inside the building through a window to see inside. You may have to kneel to angle one in. HINT: Carry one or two for each soldier for "night" underwater fights. Visibility underwater is horrible, especially during "night". HINT: You can pick up an existing flare and throw it again. Q: How do I use Particle Displacement Sensor? A: Use this to look around corners and behind doors. HINT: Aliens hardly ever stay still between rounds, but going through doors is still not a great idea. Use this to hunt down aliens instead. Q: How do I use M.C. Reader? A: Usually you would use this to ID a target for capture. HINT: Here's a trick that you can use if you do NOT have one: try to pick up the unconscious alien on the ground will also identify alien's rank and position. HINT: Use MCR to check if the alien have enough TUs to attack you. If not, they are prime candidates for HTH attacks. 8. GROUND WEAPONS, ARMOR, AND SWS "All right, class! Listen up!" The Able Seaman slapped the stock of his weapon twice. "What we have here, is the latest and greatest toy to come out of the labs of wonder boys: the gauss rifle. Perfection of room temperature superconductors plus study of the plasma weapons captured and duplicated during the First Alien War allowed us to use conventional plutonium to power this baby instead of that exotic E-115 stuff. Lin, question?" "I thought plasma weapons don't work underwater." "Correct. We tried a few samples we still have left along with with remaining stock of Elerium we got. The alien metal dissolved in salt water, and Elerium leaked out, killing the testing team. "However, the gauss rifle, a larger cousin of the gauss pistol, uses superconductors to power a containment field for the radiation, resulting in a nice concentrated beam that DOES work UNDERWATER. "So no more harpoon rifles, folks. Gauss is the way to go. "Now here's a sample of the alien grenade we've been able to capture recently. The science boys call it 'sonic pulser'..." 8.1 Armor Fr/ Sd/ Rr/ Bt ------------------------------------ None 5/ 3/ 2/ 2 --Must research and build----------- Aqua Plastic Armor 60/ 35/ 30/ 25 Ion Armor 132/ 70/100/ 55 Magnetic Ion Armor 142/ 80/110/ 65 NOTE : Mag. Ion Armor "flies", like "flying suit", but only underwater. Can't do it on land. Interestingly, XCOM armor also has has special protection and vulnerabilities. For specifics, see the OSG. Suffice to say that the ion armors are "fireproof". 8.1.1 Aqua Plastic Armor This first armor available, this one is not very good, and it is NOT fire-proof (phosphor round), but it is better than nothing. Try to get advanced armor quickly. 8.1.2 Ion Armor Ion Armor is a substantial improvement over APA, with twice the armor in all areas. Unfortunately, in the original version of TFTD, it is rather hard to get, requiring a very specific sequence of research. It is somewhat easier to get in the V2 patch. 8.1.3 Magnetic Ion Armor Magnetic Ion Armor is basically Ion armor with a magnetic levitation unit, which allows "hover" underwater. 8.2 Firing mode selection With smaller magazines in XCOM2 (10-15), ammo and reloads are becoming a problem, esp with Gauss weapons and dart/harpoon weapons, which may have auto-fire mode. Therefore, watch your ammo load carefully, and pick your shots carefully. Sonic weapons are less of a problem since they do NOT have auto-mode and you can find reloads easily. Gauss reloads must be manufactured. If you can, take a aimed shot. "One shot, one kill" is not a bad motto. On the other hand... If you have the ammo, use auto shot whenever you can. Why? It ensures a kill. Let me explain: Auto shot fires three rounds, but is the least accurate of the three shots. On the other hand, when you use the laws of probability, you usually come out ahead using an auto-shot, since each shot is calculated independently. For example, let's say chance of hitting in auto shot is 25%, and snap shot is 35%. The chance of getting at least one hit out of three is 1-(chance of no hits) So 25% hit probability (75% miss) AND no hit in three tries is 0.75 * 0.75 * 0.75 = 0.42 Chance of getting at least one hit is then 1 - 0.42 = 0.56, or 56% Which is much better than 35% (but no higher than the aimed percentage). When your accuracy improves, you increase your chances of hitting the target multiple times, which ensures a kill, and you use less TUs than ONE aimed shot. The only thing wasted with auto-fire mode is ammo, and gauss reloads are hard to come by... It is not unknown to see three aliens line up in a row, you fired auto, and each shot killed one alien. 8.3 Pistol vs Rifle debate Pro Con ---------------------------------------------- Rifles more powerful use more TUs more accurate two-handed weapon Pistols uses less Tus less powerful one handed weapon less accurate As you can see, they are exact complements of each other. Very often, using a pistol is called for, since using a pistol would mean you still have enough TUs to duck into cover. Give pistols or HTH weapons to heavy weapons people for when they ran out. 8.4 XCOM Ground Weapons Aimed Snap Auto Dam Type Ammo (Capacity) --------------------------------------------------------------------- Dart Gun 80/40 40/20 16 AP Dart Pod (12) Jet Harpoon 90/70 60/35 40/40 32 AP Harp. pod (20) Gas Cannon 90/75 60/40 60 AP GC-AP (6) 65 HE GC-HE (6) 60 I GC-P (6) HydroJet Cannon* 80/80 50/35 40/40 40 AP HC-AP (14) 50 HE HC-HE (14) 40 I HC-I (14) Torpedo Launcher* 110/80 50/40 80 HE Small Torp. 90 HE Large Torp. 80 I Phosporus Torp. Magna-Blast Grenade 50 HE Dye Grenade 10 HE Smoke Particle Displacement Grenade 70 HE Magna-Pack Explosive 100 HE Thermal Tazer 80 Frez --MUST RESEARCH-- Gauss Pistol 70/50 40/25 30/30 45 Gau GP Clip (20?) Gauss Rifle 100/60 65/30 50/40 60 Gau GR Clip (15) Heavy Gauss 90/80 50/40 75 Gau HG Clip (10?) Sonic Pistol 85/50 65/30 80 Snc SP Clip (20) Sonic Blasta Rifle 110/60 75/40 95 Snc SBR Clip (15) Sonic Cannon 115/70 80/50 130 Snc SC Clip (10) Dis. Pulse Lch'r 120/75 210 HE Disruptor Ammo Ther. Shok Lch'r 120/70 70/50 90 Frez Ther. Shok Bomb Sonic Pulser 120 HE Vibroblade 80 AP HTH Thermic Lance 110 AP HTH Hvy Thermic Lance 150 AP HTH AP Armor piercing HE High Explosive I Incendiary Gau Gauss Sonc Sonic Frez Freeze HTH hand to hand Note 1 : Accuracy for two-handed weapons is decreased 20% if other hand is not empty (i. e. holding something) Note 2 : Accuracy is increased 15% if the soldier is kneeling, which takes only 4 TUs 8.5 Specific Weapon Notes 8.5.1 Dart Pistols and Jet Harpoons Use them only when you have to, sniper style, use Aimed and/or Snap shots only. At the beginning your accuracy is bad enough that auto- mode is just a waste of ammo unless you are at point-blank range, and with only 10/15 shots, you can't afford to miss or you'll run out of ammo during missions. Dump them for gauss weapons as soon as possible. 8.5.2 Gas Cannon and HydroJet Cannon Gas Cannon is lighter and slightly more accurate than the HydroJet Cannon and does a bit more damage per shot, but less effective with only six shots and no auto-fire mode. On the other hand, HydroJet Cannon does NOT work above water, so for normal use, you would probably want the Gas Cannon. HydroJet Cannon is pretty good, but since it only works below water, that makes it rather ineffective. If you're sure you're going underwater, then take one. Just remember that HydroJet cannon is VERY heavy. 8.5.3 Torpedo Launcher Torpedo Launcher packs your biggest punch in the early game, BUT IT ONLY WORKS UNDERWATER! :-P I would NOT carry one of these. Carry more grenades instead unless you have room to spare, then carry one with three reloads. (Even sonic pulsers do more damage!) Try to have another team member carry reloads. When you got to a good firing point, have that guy drop the reloads on the ground, then stand on top of the reloads. (This also works for disruptor pulse launchers, or any big one-shot weapon) Don't give torpedo launcher (or any high-power weapons for that matter) to rookies with low morale/bravery. If they go berserk or gets M.C.ed by aliens, you may lose a lot of people. (This may be a good case to use the [use all TU] button) 8.5.4 Gauss Weapon Family Forget the heavy gauss. The 25% more damage that it does is offset by having no auto mode and decreased accuracy. As you can see from analysis earlier, auto mode is VERY useful. You can probably forget the gauss pistol also, but you need to research it to get gauss rifle. You also need to research heavy gauss to get gauss defense and craft gauss cannon, the most profitable item in XCOM2, but you can come back to it later. Gauss rifle is one of the top weapons in the game, with decent damage, auto mode (when necessary), and okay ammo capacity. Its primary weakness is it goes through ammo very quickly, esp. with auto-fire, and you must carry your reloads (whereas you can often find aliens carrying sonic weapons and ammo) 8.5.5 Various Grenades and Magna-Pack Explosives Use sonic pulsers when you can... They are MORE THAN TWICE as powerful as your regular grenades. Throw it REALLY FAR away. They also have enough power to punch through some USO's outer hull. One sonic pulser will NOT destroy another in explosions. If you need plenty of damage to one place, throw in multiple sonic pulsers. For suicidal attacks, carry a primed grenade around as you attack. If you die, everyone close to you goes POOF. Or for THAT matter, carry MORE primed grenades! (obviously, if you panic, your will kill yourself and you drop the grenade at your feet and ran... But then you probably deserve to die for desertion) Jeff James' variation, a.k.a. Rookie Kamikaze -- Have rookie arm X sonic pulsers and place in his/her backpack. Then, when a group of aliens were detected, have him separate from your group, then CHARGE into the aliens. When s/he dies, the sonic pulsers drop out, then as the turn ends, ALL X sonic pulser will go BOOM in sequence! That will do TONS of damage to everything nearby. Particle Displacement Grenades should be used to block off doors and stuff so nothing can sneak up behind you. They appear to have a 1- square sensing radius, so do NOT throw them next to the door! Instead, throw them one square away from the door so when the alien have to come out before it blows up. For example: (D=Door P=PD Grenade A=Alien) Alien just behind door, does NOT trigger the grenade since not in radius of 1.Then Alien steps through the door, and BOOM! | | AD P DAP | | Jim Muchow's "trap the door" variation -- Throw one in front of the door, one off like above, then hide near the doors in the shadows so you are not visible. | X = YOU Just stand there, keep others out of | sight. After a few turns, alien | will come out and take a peek, \----\ wondering where did you go. And as | soon as it steps out the door, BOOM! D P = PD Repeat as needed. They are dumb... | Grenade I haven't found dye grenades to be that useful. I've tried it in covering my deployment, but it doesn't seem to work that well, but it was listed in the sourcebook... No comment on magna-pack explosives yet. Supposedly it's good in inner port fighting, but I use sonic pulsers. Sometimes kneeling down will allow you to throw where you cannot before Use grenades to open up single-width doors to help your SWS move. 8.5.6 Sonic Weapon Family Sonic weapons are good weapons, and virtually all aliens carry them. Later they all carry Sonic Cannons only... And you may wish to do the same, since those are powerful weapons, but the most useful is probably the sonic blasta rifle, with more magazine capacity and faster shooting (less TUs used). These are the weapons you should sell to raise cash. You should have captured lots of them. Ammo may be a problem if you don't capture that many, but in that case, usually one reload is enough, sometimes none, since you can usually FIND reloads. If not, use captured weapons. 8.5.7 Disruptor pulse launcher Disruptor pulse launcher is probably one of the greatest weapons in the game. It is VERY useful, but it ONLY works UNDERWATER. You can blow up things in ANY direction, turn around corners, go up and down stairs, flatten entire buildings, even punch a hole in sub's outer hull! Each aquanaut can carry up to 6 reloads (2 on belt, 3 in backpack, 1 in other hand). One XCOM trick is to leave the soldier and the launcher inside the craft kneeling on top of the ammo on the floor. That way there's more than 6 rounds available. Or you can have other soldiers carry more ammo, drop them on the ground, then have the launcher guy stand/kneel on top of them. You can use this trick on torpedo launchers too, but it's not as useful. Use a disruptor pulse to enlarge a standard door so you can fit a tank through by targeting the wall next to the door. If you are short on disruptor pulse ammo, use sonic pulsers instead. 8.5.8 Thermal Shok Launcher Nice weapons, but you may need more than one bomb to stun the suckers. Lobsterman are vulnerable to stun weapons, esp. Thermal Shok Bombs, than other projectile/missile weapons. The ONLY thing they are more vulnerable to are the hand-to-hand weapons. So if you are short on firepower, use stun weapons on Lobsterman. NOTE: aliens ignore stunned soldiers/civilians. If your soldiers run into enemy they can't handle and has no chance to escape, STUN HIM with Thermal Shok bombs. The blast MAY stun the alien(s) nearby, and if the soldier is stunned, aliens will ignore him/her. You can always revive him/her later. 8.5.9 Hand-to-hand weapons XCOM players asked for hand-to-hand weapons and they got them! These weapons are NICE! Sneak up on a Lobsterman and Zzzzzzziiiiiiippp! Fried lobster! Lobstermen are VERY vulnerable to HTH weapons of ANY TYPE (including thermal tazer), and almost all aliens takes extra damage to HTH weapons. Thermic Lance is the best compromise between weight and potential damage. Remember you need TUs to get close to the enemy, so try to pick a target that has already spent most of its TUs. WARNING: some players reported that you must be on the EXACT SAME LEVEL as your target for HTH weapons to work. If your target is on an incline/hill HTH may not work. Plan for that in your attack. 8.6 SWS Types Submersible Weapon Systems are amphibious tanks, descendents of the Heavy Weapons Platform of the First Alien War. They give you heavy weapon support, while having more health to survive a few hits from the aliens, saving your soldiers from a similar fate. Remember they are there to SUPPORT you... SWS should be used to act as scouts to go into areas too dangerous to be explored by an Aquanaut. 8.6.1 SWS Summary Dam TU Ammo F/S/R/U He Coelacanth/Gas Cannon 50 90 30 90/ 75/ 60/ 60 90 Coelacanth/AquaJet Missile 90 90 8 90/ 75/ 60/ 60 90 * --Must research and build-- Coelacanth/Gauss Cannon 120 100 50 90/ 75/ 60/ 60 90 Displacer/Sonic Cannon 130 100 100 130/130/130/100 90 Displacer/Pulse Wave Torp 140 100 8 130/130/130/100 90 * Note 1 : The displacers "fly" both above and below water. Note 2 : Coelacanth/ Aquajet Torpedo and Displacer/Pulse Wave Torpedo only works underwater, as indicated by "*" 8.6.2 Coelacanth/GC One of the early SWS's, C/GC is mounted with a heavy version of the same Gas Cannon carried by Aquanauts, with only AP harpoon bolt available as ammo. Since the weapon is somewhat inaccurate, this SWS is not very effective. However, 1) it CAN fight on land, and 2) it has 3.75x more ammo than Coelacanth/AJM. 8.6.3 Coelacanth/AJM C/AJM is C/GC's cousin, mounting a single AJM launcher (HE warhead). The HE warhead makes this a proximity weapon; even a close-miss can wound/kill, which CAN make this quite effective when compared to C/GC, even though it has only 8 shots. Remember C/AJM does NOT work on land. 8.6.4 Coelacanth/Gauss Cannon C/GaC is the first advanced SWS you can get, and this is a SUBSTANTIAL improvement. The weapon is still not quite as accurate, but you get 50 shots doing 120 damage each, and you never have to buy ammo. This is THE SWS of choice until you get Displacer/Sonic. 8.6.5 Displacer/Sonic D/S utilizes the alien ion propulsion methods and magnetic levitation (also used in magnetic ion armor) to allow total 3D movement, but its primary advantage is in its HUGE ammo capacity (100 shots!) and its armor. This SWS is definitely worth its price. 8.6.6 Displacer/PWT D/PWT is like a weak version of disruptor pulse launcher on a SWS. While it does have the most powerful weapon available (140 HE), it has only 8 shots, and the ammo is EXPENSIVE to build. All of these, plus the fact that PWT only operates underwater, makes this weapon not very effective overall. You should stay with Displacer/Sonic. 8.7 Molecular Control Combat See research tree on how to gain Molecular Control. General observation: aliens STILL do NOT pick up dropped weapons, so panic attack and MC attack will disarm most aliens. 8.7.1 Offensive tips Panicked aliens drop their weapons (just as panicked XCOM soldiers). Of course, they will pull out anything else they got left on them as well as use their natural abilities (HTH or MC attacks) if any. Aliens under your M.C. control then stunned do NOT count as captured. Computer counts M.C.ed aliens as "friendly", which they sort of are. You can NO LONGER access inventory of an alien under your M.C. control. It was possible under XCOM (as a "feature"). To get more ammo, M.C. an alien, and have it throw its weapon toward you. You can then use the weapon, or unload and pocket the clip. Panic has a better chance of success than MC Jam Control. M.C.ability is more important than M.C.skill. M.C.ability determines resistance to M.C.attacks as well as potential with training 8.7.2 MC Defensive tips The only REAL way to protect yourself against MC attacks is to kill the attackers quickly. While some soldiers at the beginning may be more resistant to M.C. attacks (i.e. high M.C. Ability), without M.C. labs to help you identify them it is purely by chance and experience. If morale is low, try adding some painkiller to the solider. Once you get M.C. Labs and identified your aquanauts with MC, sack those with low M.C. Ability. If a solider was M.C.ed more than once in a battle and s/he survives, sack him/her immediately after. S/he probably has low bravery and/or low M.C. Ability, bad combination. Get rookies with high bravery ensures they are more resistant to alien panic attacks (though they may not be as resistant to mind control, that has a inherent lower chance of success). I recommend sacking all bravery below 30, maybe even 40. 8.7.3 Interesting MC Tricks Mass xenocide: use MC, send all of your victims into a corner, then send a disruptor pulse torpedo into the middle one. BLAM! Only a Lobsterman will survive that one... Target practice: use MC/Panic attack to make an alien freeze in place, then have your rookies shoot it for practice. Note that if aliens under your control die, your morale drops. If you don't care, then use MC and take the morale drop. Free Mercenary: Found a Tricene giving you trouble? MC it and use it as YOUR tank. With almost 200 shots, that thing is almost unstoppable. 8.7.4 Molecular Control FAQ Q: What is MC ability and MC skill? A: MC ability is a person's physical talent for MC and cannot be improved. It is also a measure of resistance against enemy MC attacks. MC skill is a person's skill at USING the MC ability. It can be improved with usage (so use it!) and training at a MC lab. Q: Help! My soldiers kept getting MC blasted! A: Fight harder, make more kills, don't get killed. Low morale invites more MC attacks. HINT: add some pain killer to soldiers with low morale may help. HINT: If you survive the fight, sack the ones who's not very good and kept getting panicked or controlled. HINT: Sack newbies with low bravery (i.e. below 40). Screen your recruits carefully. HINT: After you get M.C.Lab, sack everyone who has MC Ability of less than, say, 60. Those have 80+ will be your MC specialists. Players have reported of being practically MC-proof with MC Ability >70. 8.8 Weapons FAQ Q: How do I UN-load a weapon? A: Make sure one hand is free, the gun to unload in the other. Drag gun onto the UNLOAD icon. You'll end up with unloaded weapon in one hand and the ammo/clip in the other hand. 9. BATTLESCAPE Battlescape, where all tactical combat takes place, is probably the best part of XCOM, and the most difficult. Each battle is different, and you will never know whether you will succeed this time, or fail miserably in a watery grave... And this section hopefully will help you avoid that. 9.1 General Combat Notes There is no penalty for destroying civilian property, so go ahead and wreck the whole place like "The Dirty Pair" (anime). If the only person inside the craft is unconscious and you abort mission, s/he's MIA and the transport is lost as well. (Note: some reported that unconscious soldiers are MIA even if you WIN the mission with the V2 patch, this is unconfirmed) In the early game, you want gas cannon and/or Hydrojet cannon as your heavy weapons, and plenty of grenades (mix of regular and proximity). Later in the game, you want almost exclusively sonic blasta rifles (except for the heavy weapons people carrying disruptor pulse launchers, who would carry sonic pistols) 9.2 Locating Aliens Remember, being able to see a part of land/seascape does NOT mean there are no aliens in that area. You ONLY see aliens when they are within the line of sight of one of your units. If an alien falls into lines of sight during your movement, your unit will stop automatically. If your unit was shot at by an alien, and the unit survives the shot, s/he/it will automatically stop. Turn to face the direction where the shot came from will usually reveal the alien (unless the weapon is long distance, like disruptor pulse or a sonic pulser) If you want to use the particle disturbance sensor, use it at the VERY BEGINNING of the turn (which means the user needs to be up in front), so that later XCOM movements will not clutter up the scope. Once alien is spotted (a number appears in lower right) click on the "1" to center the alien in the screen, then move the cursor around the middle of the screen. When you have the alien's square targetted the cursor will flash yellow, even though the alien may not be quite visible. As long as cursor turns yellow you can target it for something (MC? Disruptor pulse?) 9.3 Capturing Aliens Capturing aliens is VERY important to advance on your research tree. 9.3.1 How to I capture an alien? You can capture aliens in three ways, so let's discuss advantages and disadvantages. Shoot an alien and hope it drops stunned instead of dead: Since smoke inhalation produce stun damage, if alien had inhaled smoke for a while, and you shot it later, it may drop stunned. This is too much of a guess work though, and is dangerous if alien is armed. On the other hand, Lobsterman, having so much health, does this a lot. Use thermal tazer on the alien: Dangerous since thermal tazer is a hand-to-hand weapon (range 0), but it's all you have early on, and all aliens takes a little extra damage to HTH weapons. Remember to stand RIGHT NEXT to the target, and DIRECTLY FACING the target, or you cannot stun! Dangerous, of course, but Lobsterman are pretty dumb, so if you double-team, you can probably stun it before it realizes that you're next to it. Use thermal shok bombs and launcher: safest way to capture an alien, shoot and scoot. Still double/triple team to be sure though... [Has any one been able to stun an alien with dye grenades yet? I can't do it so far... ] 9.3.2 So what's your recommendation? Double/triple-team on capture: at least two soldiers should carry thermal shok bombs/launcher and ready to fire in salvoes in case the alien does not drop after one hit. Combine MC combat with capture: panic it with MC to make it drop its weapon (repeat if necessary), then stun it. Be careful since alien WILL pull out any other weapon that it has on it, including GRENADES. After it is out of weapons, and if it does not have HTH attack, you can use thermal tazer on it safely. WARNING: it is now IMPOSSIBLE to get to the alien's inventory screen, so you canNOT make it drop all its weapons. WARNING: release molecular control on the alien (wait one full turn), THEN stun it, or otherwise it is NOT captured! Somehow computer counts molecular-controlled alien as "friendly" and not "captured". WARNING: all aliens on "first" stage of a two-stage mission stunned is considered DEAD. Only aliens stunned in second stage counts. If a stun attempt fails, shoot the alien with a light weapon like a pistol. The addition damage may cause the health to drop below stun damage, which ALSO counts as "stunned". Just don't kill it (yet). 9.3.3 Do you HAVE an alien containment facility? Does the home base of the transport have alien containment facility available? If not, all aliens you captured will DIE upon end of ground battle. Periodically check your base inventory. If you have too many alien soldiers, transfer some out so you can research the high-ranked stuff (UNCONFIRMED) 9.3.4 Special notes on Alien Containment Facility by Robert Bellflower Alien containment can hold ten (10) TYPES of prisoners, not a total of 10 prisoners. For example, 4 Aquatoid soldiers, 2 aquatoid medics, 1 Aquatoid technician, 2 Aquatoid navigators, and 1 aquatoid squad leader counts as 5 types of prisoner, but 11 TOTAL prisoners. New prisoners will stop being put in alien containment ONLY when the total TYPES exceeds 10. Building a second alien containment facility at the same base does NOT change this. There is no reason to ever build more than one alien containment at the same base. There are two ways to remove prisoners from alien containment. The obvious is to transfer them to another base. This only spreads your problem out. However, if you have the same TYPE of prisoner at more than one base, transfer all of the same TYPE to the same base. Whenever you capture a prisoner, open up the research screen and start the prisoner as a new project. You do not need to assign any scientists to the research at this time. That prisoner TYPE, and all of his identical brothers, will be removed from the alien containment. You can confirm this by opening up the transfer screen. [Hey, where did the body(ies) go? :-)] If you capture more of the same TYPE of alien before the research on that type is completed, they will be place in the alien containment. They can be removed by transfer, or, after the first is done, add the new prisoner to the research list. You don't ever have to research the second prisoner, it just gets it out of the alien containment. And in XCOM2, you may need to research the same alien TYPE again. 9.4 General Combat Tactics 9.4.1 SWS usage SWSs should be used for "beating the bush" and flush aliens out for soldiers to shoot. Since Aqua Jet Torpedoes only work underwater, the early preference is Coelacanth/Gas Cannon. Later, use Coelacanth/Gauss and Displacer/Sonic. 9.4.2 Grenade usage Grenades should be used for firepower supplement. If you suspect an alien in the area, drop a grenade in the area. Since you can throw beyond your visible area, this can REALLY raise your survival rates. This is important if you see aliens toss grenades or take shots at you but you don't see them. Toss a grenade in the area, and see if you hear screams. If not, send an SWS slowly into the area. You CAN equip someone with ALL grenades, but with only 80 items in inventory for more than 10 soldiers you won't get a very good distribution. Rookies can be effective grenadiers since grenades are area weapons and grenades don't miss by very far. Of course, make sure their MC Ability and/or bravery is high, or... Magna-Pack Explosive is just a very heavy grenade, and you will have problems tossing it. Toss it a short distance or drop it on ground, then RUN away from the area. This would mean you need to set it for multiple turns. Particle Displacement grenades are great for traps. Use them to prevent aliens coming up behind you, and/or pin aliens (toss one on either side of it and it can't move without setting one off)Just remember where you threw them (check the map) and don't walk near them yourself. Par. Dis. Grenades canNOT be "destroyed" now. Many have tried to set one off by dropping grenades on top of it, but the safest way is to save the game, and reload it. All ParDis Grenades will be primed but will NOT explode when you walk up to them. (This is better than XCOM1, when all Prox. Grenades disappear after saved game) You can toss grenades to upper levels and through windows, though you may have to kneel down to do it, and it requires a bit of extra "height" available. Sonic pulsers can punch holes in some USO halls, so save disruptor pulses for other uses unless sonic pulsers don't work. This of course, means that your transports can be hit by aliens, and if a grenade explodes OUTSIDE, aquanauts INSIDE can be killed. 9.4.3 The grenade relay trick Did you know that regular grenades (not prox) can be RE-THROWN safely as long as the timer holds? Grenades set to 0 can be safely re-thrown in the same turn. The scout spotted an alien up ahead but don't have a grenade handy. One Aquanaut throws the primed grenade at his scout buddy a few meters away. The grenade rolled to a stop. The scout picked it up and threw it, BLAM! One less alien! This essentially allows you to combine the TU's of the two aquanauts for the process of the grenade throw, or bypass the problem of the "second" unit can't throw to the target spotted by the first unit. Warning: if timer is set to ZERO, the Grenade must be thrown ON THE SAME TURN, since it explodes at the end of the turn, no matter what! Don't try to pick up a primed grenade and hold it! Warning: Don't try this with Prox grenades, once they hit the floor ANY movement *including picking them up* will trigger them. 9.4.4 Disruptor pulse usage Disruptor pulse is equivalent to blaster bomb in XCOM1, except this one ONLY works underwater (HEY! Where's my ROCKET LAUNCHER?) Like blaster bomb, it can shoot around corners, has wonderful damage (210 points!) and is very effective. Of course, it is also EXPENSIVE, and so is ammo. So, use them carefully (don't save them either). Try to keep the first waypoint as FAR from the launcher as possible. That way, should the shot explodes at least you have a chance to survive... Remember that disruptor pulse do NOT explode when they reach their last waypoint. They explode when they actually HIT something. If you just fly a DB into an empty spot, it will NOT explode. I typically make them fly overhead, then DIVE straight down at the target. Disruptor pulse does NOT always make the turns you specify perfectly, so do NOT rely on it. Give it some room to manuever. I would try to set the intermediate waypoints in mid-air. For completeness' sake, add a few waypoints all around the impact zone just to make SURE it hit something. Use sonic pulsers, not disruptor pulse, to try to open holes in USOs. You can carry 7 shots on each disruptor pulse user. Backpack can fit three, plus 2 on belt, plus one in left hand, and you have one in the launcher itself. 9.4.5 Rookie Sonic Fodder One possible if cruel tactic is to use rookies instead of SWS as scouts. A rookie is a smaller target, though have less armor and a lot less TUs. On the other hand, they cost about 1/9th as much. Just make sure you give them weapons that won't cause too much damage if it turns out they are susceptible to alien MC... Jeff James has a different variation: the Rookie Kamikaze. Give the rookie lots of PRIMED sonic pulsers (12?) all in the backpack, then run him/her straight into a group of aliens. Aliens will kill him/her, spilling all grenades on the floor. Turn ends, and ALL will explode one by one, doing 1440 pts of damage to anything nearby. 9.4.6 Leave opportunity for shots To make opportunity shots in the enemy movement phase, you need TU's left unused, as well as a high reactions rating (over 50 preferred). BUG: underwater-only weapons fire on land during op. fire. 9.4.7 Saving ammo XCOM has a peculiar way of counting ammo usage: any clip that was fired (even just one round!) is consider "spent" at the end of the scenario UNLESS unloaded from the weapon. So, if you just fired one round, unload it when the end of battlescape is near (you DID time the alien movement phase, didn't you? ) Interestingly, the same thing applies to the aliens as well! If you panic the aliens and they drop their weapons, you should pick them up and unload them, toss the ammo clip aside. That way you gain a clip independent of the gun you got (plus clips the alien was carrying). Do this with disruptor pulse launchers later. Lots of aliens carry them later (almost ALL aliens on base attack missions carry disruptor pulse launchers) This is REALLY important now on two-stage missions since you only get to keep what's actually ON your soldiers. 9.5 Movement Moving around the battlescape is NOT as easy as click and watch. Doing that may put you into situations you may not wish to be in, and you also need to know WHERE you want to go. 9.5.1 Encumbrance Encumbrance is the amount of "stuff" that an aquanaut can carry without "overloading". EVERYTHING in the game has a weight value, and the more weight an aquanaut carries, more energy is used per turn. If you REALLY overload, TU is reduced. The heaviest items are the "dead bodies", then the cannons (except sonic cannon, which weighs amazingly little, unless OSG has a typo). The moral: do not overload. 9.5.2 Deployment from Transport into Battle Always send an SWS out first... It will at least make aliens nearby to waste their weapons on it, not your aquanauts. Prime a grenade for most soldiers and be ready to throw. There's usually a few aliens nearby. Move the initial soldiers at least 8 squares away before deploying the next two so you don't invite grenades or torpedoes. If you have mag. ion armor, fly up and stand on top of the transport to clear the "blind side" 9.5.3 Use the terrain! You can use the terrain in other ways than just hiding behind something. Use secondary explosions to your advantage! If alien is standing next to volatile object like fuel drums, blow THAT up! Aliens do try to shoot through each other, so if you have NOWHERE to hide, hide BEHIND an alien and pray. Kneel whenever possible. It increases your accuracy and decreases the enemy's (make you a smaller target) WARNING: you may have to kneel down to look through windows. Be careful as you "clear" buildings or your aquanauts will get shot in the back. Always hide behind something; it could mean the difference between a wound vs. death! Of course, that also means that you have to have enough TUs, which is related to snap shots vs aimed shots and pistols vs. rifles. If you have magnetic ion armor, fly one level up will protect you from grenades AND HTH attacks. This is VERY useful on base raids since then the Lobstermen can only shoot you, and once you MC them and made them threw away their weapons, they're practically harmless. Of course, you are still not protected against flying creatures. 9.5.4 Spread out and cover each other (formation) Bunch up invites enemy attack you with sonic pulsers, or worse, disruptor pulses. Stay AT LEAST five squares apart. Sonic pulsers (alien grenades) are now HE damage of 120, 33% more powerful than alien grenades in XCOM1.. . Which means ONE grenade can kill LOTS more soldiers... Same goes for Disruptor pulse torpedoes... Here's a simple demonstration with a four person fire team: A ----------> A C ----------> C B ----------> B D ----------> D They should be at least six squares away from each other. 9.5.5 More formations The above is actually a modified skirmish line. You can also use wedge or diamond formations. I usually use a large wedge with a SWS as the point element, with supporting staff behind and to the sides. Heavy weapons hide 6 squares behind the SWS, along with a grenadier or two. The rest, usually shooters, follow the SWS in the wedge. 9.5.6 Movement Tips You CAN spin in place by putting the cursor on the square you wish to face, then RIGHT click. You can open doors without stepping through by going up to the door, face the door (see above), then RIGHT click with cursor just behind the door. Try not to walk into the green moss/seaweed. They use up A LOT of TU! Therefore, you may want to guide your units AROUND potential obstacles, rather than let them stumble through a lot of stuff and use up all their TUs. Some have reported that if you stand on elevators you will not be attacked, while you can keep shooting. This does NOT work on stairs though. 9.5.7 Listen and watch Watch carefully in alien movement phase. Sometimes you CAN spot them moving around. TRY to remember the surrounding terrain, then go to overhead map or scroll around and see if you can spot where that was. Watch carefully where the shots came from. Aliens use TUs when they move, just like you do. Sound can give you important clues to alien locations. If you hear door sounds, you know alien moved in/out of a door. Different door makes different sounds. Aliens also have no manners. They leave doors open after they go through. Watch doors carefully. The length of the alien movement phase is proportional to the number of hostile aliens left on the map. Just keep in mind that stunned aliens can wake up, though rather unlikely. Those that drop unconscious from taking a regular shot (not a stun shot) are more likely to wake up. 9.6 Movement FAQ Q: Some of my soldiers have TU's used before I moved them. Why? A: Each soldier has a physical weight limit to the amount of "stuff" he or she can carry, usually known as "encumbrance". If you carry less than or equal to the encumbrance, no penalty is assessed. For each weight unit over the limit, you get a TU penalty. Carry too much and you can't move at all! I haven't found the weight table yet, but I expect to soon. Q: How can I fire on aliens in their movement phase? A: This is called "opportunity fire". Leave enough TU's after your move for at least a snap shot, then if your trooper saw an alien and has good enough reactions s/he will fire at the alien. HINT: Use the 4 icons near the bottom left of screen to reserve the TUs. Reactions usually need to be above 50. Q: How do I open doors? A: Target your soldier to move up to the door. Turn to face the door (right click behind door), then right click one more time to open the door without going in. HINT: Do not open doors without plenty of spare TU's or expect to DIE. Using a motion scanner will help to see if any aliens moved beyond the door. HINT: When you are not sure, create another door! Either shoot a hole in the wall or blow up the entire wall with sonic pulser, HE, Sonic Cannon, or Disruptor Pulse. 9.7 Time Unit management The reserve TU buttons are useful, but ONLY FOR PROJECTILE WEAPONS. Missile weapons (Disruptor Pulse launcher, torpedo launcher, etc.) as well as HTH weapons are NOT affected by reserve TU buttons! In other words, if your aquanauts are armed with those weapons, they will act as if they are under FREE MOVEMENT even if you have one of the reserve TU buttons selected! There are two additional reserve TU buttons. One is the "reserve kneel" button, which should be obvious. This button CAN be combined with the other reserve TU buttons so you have enough TU to do both. The other button is "zero TU", which uses up ALL of the aquanaut's TU. Since this is used very infrequently, this button must be RIGHT CLICKED. Why would you need such a button? To prevent some rookie with a heavy weapon from frying your own people with opportunity fire would one, and to prevent possible MC victim from inflicting damage upon his/her comrades. 9.8 Retreat (Tactical withdrawal) Sometimes you can't win and it's time to cut your losses. To retreat from a landing assault (sub recovery or assault, terror site), move any many units as you can back into the transport, then hit the dust- off button. Any units left behind are "missing in action". If the only solider onboard the transport is unconscious and you select dust-off, s/he's also missing in action, and you lose the transport. Fortunately, if the remaining unit is an SWS, you WILL get the transport back. (that's a bug, IMHO) To retreat from a base defense mission, just hit dust-off. You will lose the whole base to the aliens, of course, including the crafts (no home elsewhere for them) 9.9 Alien Movement 9.9.1 Alien Movement and visual range >> Do the aliens have better night vision? << Yes, a few squares more >> Why they can shoot at you but you don't see them? << They can see you... And the XCOM AI cheats slightly: it REMEMBERS your position(s). Aliens capitalize on this by moving forward, spot you, then move back out of range. Then for next X turns those aliens in range shoot at you out of your visual range. visible range A-----|->A | | YOU A<----|--+ This is why soldiers may get mind-blasted even if no aliens are in sight. Aliens REMEMBER where you were... WARNING: aliens are a lot sneakier now and shoots from different levels (guns, grenades, and disruptors), and often hides behind things to stay invisible. 9.9.2 Alien movement habits? Nowadays, aliens usually do not charge you unless they have HTH capability, like Lobsterman, or they have HTH weapons like vibroblade. If they only carry a gun, they may just walk around. I've seen a Gillman walked up to within three squares of one of my soldiers, then turned around and ran. 10. SPECIFIC MISSION TACTICS The OSG has a chart on how many enemies or what type to expect on each type of mission. 10.1 USO Recoveries and Assaults Attack on subs shot down is "recovery" Attack on landed USOs (not downed) is "assault" 10.1.1 Assault/Recovery preparations USO missions are all underwater, so you can bring all types of weapons and SWSs along. If you left equipment on the floor in a Triton (did not distribute all objects during equip screen), you can pick it up again, but you can't do that in a Leviathan. Wierd, but true. You better NOT right-click during Equip Squad screen or the Aquanaut Data screen you access from it... That is the same as clicking OKAY. You should save your game immediately after equiping your squad. 10.1.2 Assault/Recovery tactics and tips SWSs CAN enter an USO with a single-width door if you help make the door wider with a disruptor pulse launcher and/or a sonic pulser. Just target the panel beside the door with a sonic pulser or disruptor pulse. On the other hand, most subs now have two-wide doors Sonic pulsers and disruptor pulses can be used to punch a hole in the outside wall of USOs, creating an alternate entrance. This will allow you to surprise the aliens inside since usually they gather by the doors waiting for you. Corollary: if downed USO has holes on the side due to damage, try go in through that instead, as aliens usually wait by the doors, and you can surprise them that way. Corollary: if you have mag. ion armor, on a multi-level USOs, consider attack from top down by blasting a hole in the roof or top level, posting guards near the sub doors or use proximity grenades. You can do this easily with the "Fleet Supply Cruiser" since FSC has top entrance. Post guards outside an USO when attacking inside. Any aliens already outside will attempt to return, and getting shot from behind is not fun. You can try sweeping the outside first, but then you have to leave guards against the USO doors. NEVER use up all of your TU as you go through a door. You WILL get fried. Stop one/two squares from the door and end the turn. With maximum TU available next turn, go through. Alien subs have a lot of nooks and cranies, better be careful. Try not to shoot the alien tech stuff... Go AROUND the obstacles, and save TU for more important things.. Don't use heavy weapons INSIDE the subs unless you are the "I'll take one of those bastards with me" type of fighter. Try NOT to use the door if possible. Unconventional entrances, especially those caused by disruptor bolts on upper levels, tend to REALLY surprise aliens. Of course, you need mag.ion armor to use them... Remember large USOs have PLENTY of aliens... Be careful! 10.2 Colony assaults Alien colonies cost you points EVERY DAY they exist, so you should get rid of them ASAP. 10.2.1 Colony Assault Preparation Bring mostly guns and rifles. You should be able to find disruptor pulse launchers and ammo locally, as well as thermal shok bomb launchers and ammo. The HE-armed SWS and/or disruptor pulse launchers can be very useful, so don't leave those at home. You should be expecting a lot of MC attacks, so leave the MC-weaklings at home, and bring some MC disruptors for MC combat. 10.2.2 Colony Assault General Tactics and Tips The trick in colony assaults is use a lot of grenades and disruptor pulses. Use grenades to clear corners, part. disp. grenades to block corridors and/or doors so no one can come up behind you (esp. Tentaculats!), disruptors to open walls so you don't have to go extra distance around things. MC can be important here. Use MC to turn aliens on each other, then disarm the ones close to you and then stun/grenade them. Colony assualts are now "two-parters". You have to fight your way into the base, then into the heart of the base deep underground. 10.2.3 Colony Assault Part 1 The "into" part isn't that bad, except most aliens to be armed with disruptor pulse launchers. Others use lots of grenades and carry HTH weapons. Of course, there's always those biological nightmares like Tentaculats and Hallucinoids. The base is composed of a two-story main module, a two-story secondary module to the north, three "arms" as entraces to the east, west, and south, and the M.C. Transmission towers to the east and west edge. I would recommend you ignore the "arms" and attack the main module directly. Blow a hole in the main module, then send some disruptors inside, then up to second level. There's usually two Tentaculats and two Tasoths squad leaders on the second level. You can get into the second part of the base without killing all the aliens by finding the "exit area" in the "secondary module", but it's not that hard killing all the aliens if you're careful. Hallucinoids are outside hiding by the towers. Lots of Tasoths and Aquatoids inside, with two to four Tentaculats. Alien snipers love to fire from windows on both upper story buildings... According to MicroProse, all aliens stunned on "top" (first part) are counted as DEAD. Only aliens captured in the second level count. Also, you lose ALL equipment not ON a soldier in the first part. This "problem" is sort of fixed by the TFTDV2 patch. See What about any bugs? Any patches?] 10.2.4 Colony Assault Part 2 The second part is messy. There are so many rooms to cover, and the whole place is infested with mostly Lobsterman and a few Tentaculats. Fortunately, a few of the Lobsterman seem to be armed with Thermal Shok Bombs instead of the deadly Sonic Cannons and/or Disruptor launchers. You start out on level 2 (bottom is 0) in double-height rooms. Your objective is the Synonium device on level 0. If you destroy that, you can retreat. The base is ruined. The rooms are hard to defend, with too many doors. Back up against the wall and face the doors, and NEVER stop in the middle of a room... The Synonium device is in a small room USUALLY guarded by two Lobsterman Commanders and a Lobsterman Navigator (could be 3 commanders). It is VERY easy to recognize if you've seen it once. On Level 1 it is usually marked by a crosswalk very close to it. If you are short on time, just torpedo the room. If not, blast a hole in side wall and drop in a grenade. Synomium device is explosive, so don't get too close when it blows. Consider guarding the entrance/exit area so you have a way out. 10.3 Artifact site assault Alien activity has attracted the attention of XCOM to an alien artifact site with LARGE versions of the Synomium device used to construct a world-wide M.C. network. You must destroy it at all costs... Another two-level mission. You can't just land and leave in this mission. If you got into stage 2 but did not destroy the device before withdrawing, you lose 750 points. (if you ignore the site you lose 2000 pts!) 10.3.1 Artifact site part 1 -- Pyramids This is NOT quite as easy as alien colony. In fact, this battlefield reminds quite a few X-COM veterans of the Pyramids on Mars, and it is harder, in fact. There are just too many structures around to explore and clear one by one, so don't try. You should head STRAIGHT for the exit. Explore the buildings nearby and spot the exit quickly. The building housing the exit is the same, even though the rest of the battlefield is variable. Find it, move in, and hit [DUST OFF]. Watch for snipers! Don't hesitate to blow apart the top of pyramids with a disruptor pulse if you think there's a sniper in it. If you think you've found the exit, send in a SWS first. There's probably a guard inside that you need to take care of. 10.3.2 Artifact site part 2 -- Into the darkness You start in small rooms. Go down the elevators to level 0... Once outside on level 0, explore carefully. Your main objective is the control center on level 3 ("ground" is level 0), and to get there, you need to find the "main elevator" that leads up. There are rooms mainly on level 0 and 1, and a lot of small elevators linking them. Watch out for a Hallucinoid hiding in the main elevator in level 0, and Tentaculats hiding in a hibernation chamber in main elevator's level 1 to the east. Tentaculats hides all over the place in the control room, especially in upper levels. With so many TU, they are EXTREMEMLY dangerous. The safest way is use a displacer. Send one up and in, let the Tentaculats sting it to no effect. Then move inside that little alcove, and shoot the synomium device. If you don't have displacer, use particle displacement grenades to trap the left/right sides of the doorways so when aliens come to you they will trip them. If you have MC, take over visible aliens and use them as both scout and bait Once you wiped out the Synomium device on the top of the elevator on level 3, the mission is over and you can leave by the way you came in. 10.4 Anti-Terror Mission in general Your top priority is self-preservation. Killing 9 out of your 10 soldiers to save a city or ship is NOT worth it. If given a choice to save your soldier or to save a civilian, save the soldier. Consider stunning the civilians. Stunning the civilians makes them "unpalatable" to the alien terrorists, and they count as saved at the end of the mission. (WARNING: when they wake up, they count as ENEMY and you must kill them! ) Do NOT mind control any of the civilians. They count as ENEMY after you release control and you must kill them! (They can't attack you, of course, but you have to kill them to finish the mission.) Kill Tentaculats ASAP. If necessary, kill the civilian near it so that the civilian will not be turned into a zombie/drone that will attack you. Have two persons watch each other. WARNING: Do NOT hit [dust off] in the second stage of a two-stage mission. Doing so will result in death of ALL civilians, even those you "saved" in the first stage. If you can't handle a terror site, just land then dust off immediately. You lose points for the dead civvies, but you did not "ignore" it, and thus is not penalized as severely. Of course, on a two-stage mission, the number of civilian casualties makes this "technique" not quite as useful. Never go straight into any room. Always open the door, take a peek, THEN go in. 10.4.1 Port Terror missions This one is relatively easy, being only a one-parter. On the other hand, the aliens tend to shoot down at you from higher levels in the various warehouses and buildings. They also tend to hide in toolsheds. So when in doubt, GRENADE IT! Often the battle devolves to "hunt the last alien". Here's some favorite alien hiding places: on top of tower, on top floor of that three story building near north edge, in that "warehouse" in the middle, in the little "tool sheds" all around. Towers frequently have alien snipers, as will any catwalks in buildings. 10.4.2 Island Terror missions This one is STILL relatively easy, being on a one-parter. This one is tough due to the little "bunkers" hiding in some of the hills, especially the big bunker right below those statues. Biodrones tend to hide in there, and going in there digging them out is NOT a good idea. Don't destroy the stairs in the resort; go easy on the HE stuff. If you destroy the stairs you can't get to the level above... Favorite alien hiding places are: all those hill bunkers, top floor of the "resort" (are they getting a tan or what?), between the hills. 10.4.3 Cargo Ship Terror missions The cargo ship terror mission is probably the TOUGHEST type of mission you'll ever run into, being a two-parter. There are SO MANY places to hide in a cargo ship! The passages are narrower and more intricate. The ceilings are low, making grenades almost useless, but you have no heavy firepower to take its place! (Where's a rocket launcher when you need one?) Obvious: don't stand too close to oil drums First Stage: After clearing the immediate vicinity, split team in two and clear the upper decks, then sweep the below decks one room at a time. NEVER run out of TU and never stop in the middle of a room. Alien love to hide in closets... If you don't see civilians around, blow up the room with grenades. Second Stage: Be VERY careful when the upper levels have a clear field of fire toward your aquanauts: plenty of favorite sniper spots. Watch out for Gillman grenadiers. They throw sonic pulsers from Level 3, and you can't shoot back due to bad angle! (And disruptor pulse launcher don't work on land, neither does mag.ion armor!) If you find a stair going up, take it. The aliens are often above you. 10.4.4 Cruise Ship Terror missions It's the stairs that makes this one hard... And it is a two-parter. There are twice as many civilians as a one-part mission, which makes the game that much more difficult. WARNING: Don't stand too close to oil drums... First stage: Watch for aliens hiding behind the cargo boxes next to your sub. One grenade and there goes your whole team! You'll probably get sniped by aliens from the upper balcony. Hide behind tables and other things whenever possible. Usually aliens don't hide in rooms; they tend to hang around the corridors. Suggest you divide into several small teams, maybe two or so and tackle both corridor's and/or outside decks simultaneously. As the range is short, have HTH weapons available, and do NOT overload so you lose TU. Second stage: Clean out the cargo hold first, then split the team and clear both sides simultaneously (you may catch aliens in cross-fire), then split again and clear upper/lower levels. 10.5 XCOM Base Defense You DID plan your base as mentioned in [How do I design a easy to defend base?], didn't you? If you did, you should have an easy time rushing units to block the aliens. MPS listened to players, and you get 110 items on base defense now, and you won't get "50 flares and no guns" again, as the computer actually goes through the inventory and distributes the item somewhat evenly among the different types of weapons. You must use Par Dis Grenades to isolate parts of the base so the aliens cannot converge on you. Then clean out one module at a time. Do it fast since aliens hiding in second level is a REAL PAIN to find. Aliens attack the base to DESTROY your base, and if failing that, they want to destroy as many modules as possible so the base will need to be repaired. Becareful that if they destroy a module so the the OTHER modules are no longer connected to the base, THAT SECTION is considered DESTROYED. Number of attacking aliens depend solely on the landing USO type. Weapons stored around sub pens are highly explosive, keep that in mind when you shoot in a sub pen, as it is both a blessing and a curse. Remember a stunned aquanaut can always be revived. WARNING: If the airlock is destroyed, the entire base is gone, so be careful with HE stuff around the airlock. Of course, you still need to clean out all four levels of it... WARNING: If you hit DUST OFF during base defense, you lose the entire base and everything/everyone in it. If that's your only/last base, you lose the whole game. 10.6 Mastering T'leth--The Final Assault This is a THREE-parter... and you don't get to save in the last part! Oh, how do you GET there? First, does your research show "T'leth, the alien city"? If not, grab a commander and interrogate it. Then, do you have a Leviathan? Good! Arm your Leviathan with your best soldiers and equipment, and hit INTERCEPT. Next to the CANCEL button should be T'LETH. Push it, and you're on your way! By the way, did I mention you only get ONE chance against T'leth (not counting restoring saved games)? 10.6.1 Preparation No mercy, folks. Sonic cannon and/or Disruptor pulse launchers with lots of reloads. Bring some extra grenades as well. You don't get reloads except by stripping alien dead bodies... Don't forget HTH weapons, since you're no doubt going to see a lot of Lobstermen. Thermic lance definitely. Magnetic Ion Armor for all aquanauts, nothing else will do. You need best of the best, highest MC ratings available. You can bring along a few SWSs, preferably Displacer/Sonic, be aware that its manueverability may be restricted, esp. in Stage two and three if you don't help it along by widening the doors. Bring a lot of disruptor pulse launchers. You can find PLENTY of ammo around the enemy bases. Definitely bring along some Medikits, if you have them. T'leth stages are VERY long, and wounded won't survive without medikits. 10.6.2 T'Leth Stage 1 --Outer City You start in staging areas. Your objective is to find the exit area and dust off. Interior is similar to the second stage of the artifact site mission. You are welcome to try hunting down every last alien, but that is not recommended. Some rooms contain explosive stuff... Fight at your own peril. Aliens hide in the elevators in several rooms. They wait for you to come into the lower level, then they come down, shoot, and go back up. When entering such room, go into corners and look toward elevators. If possible, send something ELSE up first. On the other hand, the rooms with SMALL elevators are not worth tackling. WARNING: exit area is NOT as big as it looks. When in doubt, use the overhead map, or you will be missing a lot of stuff when you start the next stage, such as a few of your soldiers. Energy state is carried over to next stage. Therefore, if your aquanauts ran around a lot and energy is low, allow them to rest on this stage (safely) before taking them to next stage. To find the exit area, look for a 2x2 elevator on Level 0. Send the SWS up if you got one, let it take the heat, while you take the glory. 10.6.3 T'Leth Stage 2 --Inner City Only equipment you carried into the exit area is available... DANG! Who designed this level? The staging area is big and bright, but the rest of the base is small, thin corridor and small dark rooms, ZILLIONS of places for ambush. Suggest you use HE to open up some manuevering room. Lots of aliens with disruptor pulse lanchers in this stage. You can blow through the walls and take a short cut. The exit area is not as obvious on this stage. In fact, you MUST blow away some walls to take the SWS along. The Exit Area is close to the 3x3 elevator. Remember to send in a SWS first, if you have one. WARNING: exit area is NOT as big as it looks, and is actually SMALLER than Stage 1's exit area. When in doubt, use the overhead map, or you will be missing a lot of stuff when you start the next stage. You need to get EVERY unit onto the EXIT area since those not on will be left behind. Energy state is carried over to next stage. Therefore, if your aquanauts ran around a lot and energy is low, allow them to rest on this stage for a few turns before taking them to next stage. 10.6.4 T'Leth Stage 3 -- Crypt of the Ultimate Alien This map is BIG! You all start on upper left corner of the map, and you go all around the outer edge of the base with no way to bypass any (i.e. cannot blow through walls). WARNING: You can NOT save during this battlescape session. This stage is brightly lit and open (relatively) Watch out for aliens JUST outside the room you came in... Use MC whenever possible for scouting, or send a grenade/bomb or two immediately. Watch out for "death from above" terrorists such as Tentaculats. SWS needs help going through the level's single-width doors. Map view does not work in this stage, but it's basically a clock-wise spiral into the middle of the compound. Your objective is to locate the stasis chamber of the Ultimate Alien, and destroy the 8 power conduits nodes that are keeping him alive. The stasis chamber is in the middile of the map, and you're going clock- wise spiraling in. Walk slowly. There's a lot of room to cover. You don't want to run out of energy and become sitting (standing?) ducks. You can't damage Ultimate Alien's Crypt. Just destroy the power nodes and that'll kill him. The Nodes are NOT explosive. 11. MISC QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS Q: How do I cheat? A: If you REALLY want to cheat, here's how to add TONS to money into your account. Yes, you are embezzling the world to support XCOM. You are twisting arms, and it is for a GOOD cause. :-D Use a sector editor (such as Norton DiskEdit) and edit LIGLOB. DAT in your saved game's directory. Overwrite the first 8 bytes with 64 64 64 64 00 00 00 00... You should get about 1.68 billion dollars. (In case you are wondering, 64646464h is a hexadecimal number. In decimal it is 1,684,300,900) You can also use FF FF FF 7F 00 00 00 00... Which will give you about 2.1 billion dollars. (7FFFFFFFh = 2,147,484,647) If you need more help, try finding these at the XCOM Homepage, see section 1. 12. APPENDIX A: SOME TROUBLESHOOTING All information provided here are garnered from around the world. I canNOT guarantee that ANY of the solutions will work nor is any of the information here "official". PROBLEM: I can't get the intro animation (CD only) to run. TRY THIS: Double-check your CD's I/O address (unless you use SCSI CD). If you use MIDI, see if your CD's address conflict with the MIDI address. Some Gravis cards have problem with CD intro... PROBLEM: I get the "blue text bug" (program is running, then all of a sudden I get blue 40-column text crawling all over the place and I get dumped to DOS or some other place) quite often. TRY THIS: XCOM/TFTD is actually two separate programs: GeoScape and Battlescape. Each has a different requirement. One wants more extended memory, other wants more conventional memory. You must maximize BOTH. To do so, create a boot disk. ONLY HIMEM and EMM386, NOEMS specified. DOS4GW don't need EMS. If you use MEMMAKER and similar programs, remember to specify "no expanded memory", and optimize the memory again. Also, do NOT use any disk cache (SMARTDRV) or similar software that uses a lot of extended memory, especially on systems with only 4 megs of RAM. PROBLEM: I use Version 1 and have SB16 with Waveblaster, but I can't get SB16 digital sound to work together with general MIDI. TRY THIS: Apply the V2 patch. If you don't have the patch and can't get to it, use SB16 digital sound with Adlib FM, or use SB (8-bit) digital sound with general MIDI. You just can't use both. See "What about any bugs? Any patches?" 13. APPENDIX C: TFTD BOOKS Order of entries are only dependent upon order received. :-) Title: Totally Unauthorized X-COM: Terror From the Deep Price: $17.99 Author: Jeff James Publisher: ////BradyGAMES Publishing ISBN # 1-56686302-3 Order Number : 1-800-428-5331 Yes, the same Jeff James who interviewed Mr.Gollop for Computer Gaming World and the same one who helped me write THIS Un-official Strategy Guide. I borrowed his chapter structure for this revision. His book will include maps for all USOs, maps for all terror sites (at least one variation of it), map of colony sites (both levels), and complete map to T'leth. Title: XCOM:Terror From the Deep-- The Official Strategy Guide Price: $19.95 Author: David Ellis Publisher: Prima Publishing ISBN # 0-76150074-X Well, David Ellis' second book is quite a bit better than his first, but still not quite there. Yes, it's got all the nice charts and numbers, and maps to all the USOs, and it has more recommendations now, but lots of places could be improved upon. I have the OSG here, and several sections looks... Uh... FAMILIAR! :-)